OHS Canada Magazine

Pilots decry industry push for solo flying

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May 4, 2023
By The Canadian Press

Health & Safety Aviation Safety

Photo: Aapsky/Adobe Stock

Pilots are speaking out against an aviation industry push toward having a sole crew member in the cockpit.

At a news conference in Montreal, leaders of three of the largest pilot unions representing more than 150,000 workers say a proposal to Europe’s aviation regulator aims to boost airline profits at the cost of safety.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency is mulling a pitch by plane makers Airbus and Dassault Aviation for some aircraft to be crewed by just one pilot for part of the flight — though not during takeoff and landing — by 2027, rather than the two-pilot operation now required throughout the trip.

Jack Netskar, president of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations, which includes some 6,200 Canadians, says the proposal would create an unacceptable safety risk for passengers.

Union leaders say they aim to counter a lobbying campaign by the sector targeting regulators around the world, as well as the International Civil Aviation Organization.


Anthony Philbin, a spokesman for the United Nations aviation agency that’s based in Montreal, says both its governing body and air navigation commission are slated to weigh the topic further.


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