Sir - I read with interest the article "UK charters challenge leases" (Flight International, 12-18 July, P8).

I agree strongly with the opinion shared by the main UK charter airlines on the operations of non-European Union (EU)-based aircraft in the European Community. It is a relief that UK charters have taken a positive step to promote flight safety in Europe, as the UK authorities have been singled out as having a passive attitude.

A group of UK airlines alleges, that there exist "less demanding national regulatory and certification standards in some countries". As an experienced professional pilot, I believe that this can only mean a compromise on safety.

As EU airspace is being prepared for deregulation, more stringent regulations are being implemented to make the transition to "free skies" a safe one. The UK, which used to have a reputation for having the strictest foreign-employment and licensing rules, seems to have let go of the reins by allowing any non-EU citizen to take up professional employment. There are still pilots in the UK and the rest of the EU who are unemployed, and it is no conciliation to them to see cheap, low-quality, labour deprive them of their livelihoods.

Luckily, in Italy and several other EU countries, pilots' unions work efficiently to keep track of such activities.

Do the British Airline Pilots Association and the UK Government have more important things with which to deal than the livelihoods of their members and citizens?


London, UK

Britannia: among those pressing for clamp-down on non-EU operations




Source: Flight International