Sir - In response to the letters from R P Holubowicz (Flight International, 11-17 January and 25-31 January), the issue of European flight and duty-time regulation is about safety. European pilots believe that the proposed regulation is unsafe, and is supported by the aero-medical establishment in Europe and the USA.

The removal of radio operators, navigators and flight engineers from cockpits was not achieved by the payment of "a little more cash" for pilots, but by real technological advance. Where is the corresponding physiological advance to enable, for example, a Boeing 757 pilot safely to increase the length of his maximum duty day by up to 2h?


General Secretary

British Air Line Pilots Association

Hayes, Middlesex, UK

...Sir - Mr Holubowicz asks: "Why should increased productivity affect safety?" It increases the fatigue level of pilots, who do suffer from fatigue and do inadvertently fall asleep on flights, particularly at night.

British Air Line Pilots Association fears for safety were not overcome by more cash for pilots, who were faced with a choice of accepting new regimes, or losing their jobs to others desperate for employment at any price. Most new-start airlines employ only those pilots who agree to work to the limits of CAP 371, a document, which was meant to be an upper limit when introduced.


Manchester, UK

...Sir - Mr Holubowicz' accusation that the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association's concern about proposed relaxation of pilots' flight-time limits is "self-serving" is hard to swallow from one who is paid to support the commercial interests of air carriers. If professional pilots are to be accused of being "self-serving" for voicing safety concerns, who will speak up for their passengers?

Why is it left to the pilots to make the point that fatigue kills? Perhaps we should have a passengers union.


Hitchin, Hertfordshire, UK

Source: Flight International