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Why yet another (atypical) employment survey?

As a pilot, the contrast between the order, structure and coherence of our standard operating procedures sometimes conflicts dramatically with the apparently chaotic way our employment is managed and administered. How can anyone believe that the recent phenomenon of atypical employment of the most safety critical airline staff, enhance our ability to deliver on a pilot’s prime promise – that of a safe flight? Or should we take a new look at the seniority list driven, full time, male dominated structure of the old nationalised airlines? Have they already moved on, offering flexibility without undermining security?

Using experience of the dramatic recent changes in employment models across our industry from some of our members, ECA has succeeded in persuading the European Commission to take a look at the current jobs market in Europe for professional pilots. The Commission is running its own survey to gain an insight into employment models in use in Europe – how they suit the pilots employed in them, how they affect our conditions, fatigue state, work-life balance and most importantly; how they affect our ability to do our job – safely.

I urge all professional pilots employed (or seeking to be employed) in Europe; please give your views through this survey

This is our chance to influence the regulator right at the start of their thinking on an important issue. This is our opportunity to ensure there is no filter applied to the message we want to give to those who write the rules and regulations. This is our moment to support those parts of our employment that bring us the professional satisfaction which turns a job into a vocation – and to enlighten the regulator as to the frustrations introduced by the unhelpful (or downright dangerous) changes which are sometimes thrust upon us by unthinking or profit obsessed airline management.

Whether you are perfectly happy with your position, or have experience of challenges you would like to see addressed at the highest level; this is YOUR chance to speak directly to those who are going to draft the rules. I urge all professional pilots employed (or seeking to be employed) in Europe; please give your views through this survey.

by Martin Chalk

Martin Chalk has served as a pilot advocate and union representative for over 25 years including as ECA President from 2005 to 2011, as IFALPA President between 2014 and 2016 and is passionate about advocating on behalf of the piloting profession. He is currently a captain on the A380 and has filled in the European Commission’s survey here.