Europe’s pilots set out prerequisites for the Single European Sky
Press Release of the European Cockpit Association, Madrid/Brussels, 11 April 2015
The Single European Sky (SES) – as well as its US counterpart NextGen – is a vital project for modernising Air Traffic Management. It will profoundly change the way flight operations are performed and will provide a much more strategic role for pilots. “The future of flying in a Single European Sky” publication, issued today by the European Cockpit Association, provides a strategic input into the debate on how to successfully modernise Europe’s Air Traffic Management (ATM).
“We are firm believers that the future of flying in Europe can only happen in a single, safe and sustainable European Sky,” says ECA President Dirk Polloczek. “Even if we do not hold the key to ‘unlocking’ the political deadlock on the Single European Sky, we do have the knowledge, front-line expertise and tools to shape this major ATM transformation jointly with other stakeholders. And we are committed to do so.”
With this publication, Europe’s pilot community reiterates that maintaining and increasing safety – in what will be a completely new operational environment – is not only crucial but an absolute precondition when moving forward with the SES initiative. Any new technologies or procedures must guarantee safe operations, even under the most demanding scenarios. Involving pilots in ‘reality checks’ of proposed solutions will therefore continue to be crucial. With the changing role for pilots in sight, new skills will have to be developed and trained. This in turn also illustrates how important it is for different systems and technologies to be compatible. Interoperability between e.g. NextGen in USA and the European system is an absolute necessity.
This new ECA publication was released at the 70th Annual Conference of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) in Madrid, where the major ATM modernization projects in Europe and the US were discussed by the global pilot community and ATM experts.
“Today’s IFALPA Conference offered a great platform to discuss the challenges stemming from the latest NextGen and SES developments,” says ECA Technical Board Director Álvaro Gammicchia. “For us as pilots, these projects are much more than just technical developments. These are a true revamp for our profession. New skills, new threats, new challenges and new opportunities are emerging for us, as the way we will be flying our airplanes in future will be completely different and more strategic than it is today. This is why our publication offers you a unique ‘sneak peek’ into the future of flying, from a crew perspective.”