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BALPA accuses EASA of maladministration

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BALPA accuses EASA of maladministration

Old 12th Jul 2013, 17:20
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BALPA accuses EASA of maladministration

The mainstream press don't seem to have picked up on this yet.

The European agency responsible for aviation safety across the EU has been accused of gross maladministration by British pilots.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), which represents over 80% of British airline pilots, has submitted a formal complaint to the European Ombudsman who has responsibility for investigating such cases of poor governance within European agencies.

BALPA’s complaint is that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has breached its own terms of reference in the way it has put together its proposals to change pilots’ working hour limits; limits which are supposed to prevent fatigue. In particular the EASA group that formulated the proposals appear to be very short on relevant medical and scientific qualification and – astonishingly – EASA took no steps to record or manage conflicts of interest within the group.

BALPA’s General Secretary, Jim McAuslan, said, ‘The UK government will be represented at a crucial EU meeting on 10th and 11th July at which they will be asked to support these EASA rules which will substantially dilute the existing UK rules. We have written to the Minister to inform him of our Ombudsman complaint and asking him to support our cause and insist that the rule-making process is done properly.

'Regrettably the Minister has shown little stomach so far for a fight with EU bureaucrats. BALPA's battle is therefore likely to move to the EU parliament which has been poorly served by an agency that lacks transparency, skill and knowledge and yet has been given the power to draft rules which will have a big impact on every airline passenger in Europe.'
Link here
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 11:58
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overstress

I'm guessing the mainstream press are not interested in stories without sensationalist value. It's not surprising that the general PPRuNe readers have ignored this thread because most of them are NOT professional pilots and so are ignorant of the issues surrounding fatigue. Much easier to spout nonsense about a high profile event like the Asiana tragedy.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 14:38
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Good to see that BALPA is finally being seen to do something useful with it's members' contributions.

Purely my opinion as an outsider, usual disclaimers etc.

This has far wider ramifications than "just" Pilot -Fatigue......the whole issue of incompetent beaurocrats abusing power is long-overdue for reassessment.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 16:11
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Those of us in the training side of the industry have been banging on about EASA for a while. Poor audit trails, non-existent safety management (oh, they preach Management Systems but don't actually examine their own Opinion forming) and too much politicking.

'Bout time that someone shouted. At they same time we should be arguing about the wholly dysfunctional manner in which the CAA is interpreting and enforcing the EASA regulations.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 08:26
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BKK, there was a thread a few months ago in 'Terms and Endearment -albeit a rather heated one- which touched upon this issue when it first arose.

That's just the next step in BALPA's course of action. They did produce an explanatory video, too, a few months back.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 20:18
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Thanks for the info. I'll give credit to BALPA for their work on this topic.
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:01
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It will be interesting to see how the Cannock Coal Miner handles this one...
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Old 15th Jul 2013, 21:04
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Quite so! It's not like he would act against the wishes of a members' ballot is it now.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 07:33
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Originally Posted by Claybird
They did produce an explanatory video, too, a few months back.
- would that be like the video they produced on cabin air problems? Remember that?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 10:33
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Yes, vm, divide and conquer? Perhaps address your post to Mr Fyne?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 11:57
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VM

This isn't the place to debate that topic. I only replied with a one liner in response to over stress who wrote:

It will be interesting to see how the Cannock Coal Miner handles this one...


As I said I give BALPA credit for their work on FTL.

BOAC

Danny has offered BALPA the opportunity to communicate with non members on the VA Pilot Forum (not the PPRuNe one). So far they have declined.
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Old 17th Jul 2013, 22:20
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Hmm... Some confusion here. This thread isn't about VS and the Cannock Coal miner is the minister for transport, Patrick McLoughlin, who mined coal in Cannock.
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 05:37
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My error entirely, lashings of apologies! In fairness to me the thread is about BALPA hence my confusion.
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 12:04
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EASA and maladministration in the same sentence? Surely not!





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Old 18th Jul 2013, 15:10
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Why has it taken so long ?

About ten years ago the chair of the parliamentary select committee for transport ( the late G Dunwoody ) described EASA as unfit for purpose and an accident going somewhere to happen...... Little has changed !

The paper trail for maintenance under Part M is driving up the cost of maintenance to a point were it is making general aviation unaffordable and at the same time the constant paper chase is keeping the engineering supervisors in the office and not keeping an hour to hour watch on the work in the hangar. It is the worst of both worlds EASA has put in place a less safe more expensive system.

The very pinnacle of EASA stupidity is the abolition of the UK's IMC rating, a qualification that has clear safety benefits that has been stopped by EASA politics and ego.

Flight crew licensing is now so complicate that it is very easy to fall foul of the mountain of rules, flying clubs are being over regulated out of existence by turning flying leisure establishments into mini flight schools and the latest gem of stupidity is that if a rating expires by just one day you need retraining to get the rating back not just an LPC.

Why BALPA have taken so long to wake up to the EASA paperwork gravy train ? I am pleased that they have but they need to look much further than the flight time limitations otherwise the regulator will strangle the industry from the ground up.

Last edited by A and C; 18th Jul 2013 at 15:19.
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 16:42
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Bravo to BALPA in trying to bell a cat.

Will other pilots' unions in Europe join in?

If not, why not?
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 17:55
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Many many years ago N.Kinnock, yes him of UK prime minister fame, and who then became EU transport commissioner, voiced his support for improvements in aviation working conditions. Not a lot happened to improve matters; indeed much worsened. Was he held to account for his failing? No! No surprise there, then. On Prune, again many years ago, a debate was underway including a journalist and letters to MP's. It seemed at last that something might happen. Nope: naught once again was the result and things have declined further.

Now, I read, that the response from AEA (i.e. the managers/owners of EU airlines) is that EASA rules are better because they will apply to all operators in EU and give a level playing field. Oh! So that's alright then: it doesn't matter if the rules are rubbish, as long as everyone has to abide by them. Amazing that the financial leaders of the industry applaud the idea of more productivity for less reward from the workers. "They would say that, wouldn't they." For heavens sake, just think where we would be without FTL's. They stopped craziness in working hours, just. Yet now their correcting influence is being eroded rapidly back towards a previous life. technology is no compensation for eroding the fitness of the human in charge. e.g. SFO B777 and others.
I have never been so angry as when I was told by management that the roster schedule was proven to be fine & generous and any problems was a fault in the pilot's sleep/rest management strategy.
There is more to a family life than having an aluminium tube strapped to your back-side for half a day or night, even longer, and living away from home & family for half your life. The stresses of both are not what a 21st century professional career should be about. Making it worse is pure greed from the employers. For EASA to have the word 'safety' in its title is an insult to us all. I have watched the behaviour and worked under the FTL's of various XAA's in various EU countries over 30 years and wonder just who pulls their strings. I am convinced that the airline management have more influence than the pilots, cabin crew and engineers. I was fed up with having an airline audit from XAA, where FTL abuse was rife, loop holes exploited, but being harangued for not signing everything with dotted i's & crossed t's. Good heavens they could not see the woods for the trees, and seemingly didn't want to because then they would have to do something as the policemen they are supposed to be. And they didn't have a solution and would bite the hand that feeds them.
Now EASA seems to be continuing that behaviour. Can the pilot corps allow that abuse of power to continue? Absolutely not. MP's in all countries should be subjected to a constant, continuous, professional, well reasoned campaign to make them aware of what is happening. Greed must not be allowed to drag our public service down the same drain that the bankers took the general economy. Greed and bad management can have such disastrous effects. In some cases more deadly that others.
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 18:08
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European bureaucracy all over: useless, incompetent, dangerous.

The biggest danger with fatigue is that it is not a matter of feeling tired, but is a longer-term problem that can take months to really show itself. By then, it is too late.
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Old 19th Jul 2013, 14:11
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An Uninformed Opinion!

http://www.easa.europa.eu/agency-mea...2004-2012).pdf
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Old 19th Jul 2013, 14:18
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If you can navigate your way around the EASA web site you are cleverer than I!

http://www.easa.europa.eu/rulemaking...%202010-14.pdf
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