|Author (Person)||Chapman, Peter|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol 7, No.2, 11.1.01, p3|
EURO-MPS will next week demand that EU airlines and their employees thrash out an agreement to set common Union-wide limits on pilots and crews' flying time.
In issuing the ultimatum, Parliament members will support calls from British Socialist MEP Brian Simpson in his report on European Commission plans for harmonised civil aviation safety standards.
The EU executive has proposed that new technical requirements agreed by aviation authorities be transposed into Union law. But the plans ignore the question of flying-time limits because the industry has failed for over a decade to agree to modernise standards in the thorny area.
Simpson argues that it makes no sense to leave this hole in the proposal and wants the industry to sort out a solution by May.
"At the moment there are flight time regulations but airlines want to stretch them and unions want to go the other way. For ten years they have been talking about it," said Simpson, adding that the Commission had left blank the subsection of its proposal that was meant to cover this area. "This is nonsense. You can't have something on safety but leave blank duty time for cockpit crew."
If no solution is found, the British socialist insists, the Parliament could try to impose one after the May deadline.
Simpson said current rules in member states typically allow pilots and cockpit staff to work for stretches of 14 hours at a time. "The airlines want that extended, but if I had been driving a plane for 14 hours I would not want it extended," he added.
The parliamentary threat has focused the efforts of industry leaders, whom Simpson says are already trying to reach a deal.
A spokesman for the European Airlines Association said the industry was confident it could meet the May deadline.
Euro-MPs are to demand that EU airlines and their employees thrash out an agreement to set common Union-wide limits on pilots and crews' flying time.
|Subject Categories||Mobility and Transport|