LONDON Euro-MP Jean Lambert has welcomed a decision by MEPs on the EU Transport Committee to overturn proposals to relax rules limiting flight times.
The Greens had proposed the objection due to concerns the proposed increase in flight times would lead to more strenuous working conditions for pilots, with the associated safety risks for passengers and other staff.
Ms Lambert said: “I am delighted members of the the Transport Committee have listened to the Greens and voted to ground these ill-judged proposals.
“We now hope the proposed rejection will be supported by a majority of MEPs when the plenary votes as a whole.
“There are serious concerns about the implications of the Commission’s proposal for pilots and cockpit personnel, both in terms of employment rights and the safety risks associated with longer flight times and more stressful flying schedules.
“Ignoring these concerns will put lives at risk – we know that pilots are being forced to sleep on the job already.”
She added: “The draft legislative act includes provisions allowing pilots to land aircraft after being awake for 22 hours, as well as to allow pilots to work seven early starts in a row rather than the current three.
“There are already well-documented cases of overworked, exhausted pilots falling asleep in the cockpit, so it is incredible that the Commission wants to make them fly even longer.
“Major concerns have been raised by pilots’ unions and other stakeholders and we hope the EP as whole recognises these concerns and sends the Commission back to the drawing-board.”