International pilot unions band together to oppose operations with a single pilot

A coalition of pilot unions opposed to single-pilot operations was formed. This coalition included the International Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), European Cockpit Association (ECA), and International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA). In order to avoid a serious safety risk, the coalition wants to "stop airlines and manufacturers from moving through with plans to remove pilots off the flight deck." To "defend the flying public and resist an aggressive corporate-led lobbying campaign targeting regulators around the world, particularly the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)," ALPA, ECA, and IFALPA indicated they will take action.


The unions noted that there are "unacceptable safety risks posed by single-pilot flight operations, especially during abnormal events and emergencies," but that airlines and aircraft manufacturers are pressuring regulators to put "profits first and introduce an unacceptable level of safety risk to commercial aviation" (citing a study by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States).

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In a joint statement, ALPA President Jason Ambrosi, IFALPA President Jack Netskar, and ECA President Otjan de Bruijn said, "Whether you depart from New York, San Francisco, or Atlanta bound for London, Paris, or Tokyo, a crew of at least two qualified, experienced, trained, and rested airline pilots is at the controls on the flight deck of your plane. Every component of a flight, according to the three union presidents and captains, was "deliberately designed for a team working together on the flight deck."

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The statement stated, "Two pilots at the controls remain the most crucial safety characteristics of an aircraft, despite improvements in automation and enhanced technologies on the flight deck. No matter how advanced it is, technology cannot take the place of pilots on the flight deck. Andrea Boiardi, the Chief Specialist of Operational Suitability at the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), previously stated that the organization does not currently anticipate that single-pilot operations will be permitted by 2030. Boiardi did not, however, completely rule out the possibility that, by 2027, some aspects of flying would be managed by a single person in the cockpit.

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