The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) have confirmed that industrial action may be called should the European Aviation Safety Agency increase limits on time spent in the cockpit.
The new rules could start in 2015 and are due to be submitted shortly in an effort to end years of wrangling between airlines and the flight team over terms. Carriers have been seeking increased flexibility in the work conditions to allow them to better utilise their crew and deal with any delayed or cancelled flights better. Pilots feel that an increase in potential hour worked would jeopardise safety.
Jim Mcauslan, head of BALPA told reporters on Tuesday “I could see this becoming a battleground company by company. We believe fatigue threatens flight safety and will affect pilots”. BALPA has set aside around £10 million to finance legal challenges against the rules next year in British and European courts. The European Parliament is likely to review the piloting rules in October and November of this year, although a final ruling may not be made until the end of 2013.