Sir - It would be inappropriate for me to comment on the Dan-Air versus British Airways litigation, as we at the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), are not directly involved, but I would like to correct the letter from Captains Archer and Marshall of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), (Flight International, 7-13 December 1994).

Since the IPA does not intend to become a trade union, nor a negotiating body, why should it expect, or even want company recognition? It is well known, however, and has mutually beneficial contacts with the management of most companies (but not BA). Where the Transport & General Workers Union is concerned, recognition is already in place - albeit, not for pilots - but I am sure that will come should pilots want it, or how else could BALPA have started?

The claim that the IPA does not have professional staff to negotiate or advise on industrial professional or technical matters is unfounded. Our experts carry out these services of their own volition, in the interests of the industry and without charging enormous fees. With 49 "professionals", no wonder BALPA's fees are so high.

The IPA's legal-expense insurance scheme is non-discretionary, unlike BALPA's. Why, otherwise, would the Dan-Air action group be paying for their own legal representation? Most were members of BALPA.

We have been inundated with letters from all over the world, many from past and present members of BALPA, most expressing dissatisfaction at the treatment or lack of help from that organisation.



Independent Pilots Association

Haywards Heath, Sussex, UK

Source: Flight International