The appointment of the new Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, has been welcomed by the British Airline Pilots Association, with representatives from BALPA already urging Mr McLoughlin to consider the issues of air travel safety. Most of the noise around Patrick McLoughlin’s appointment as Secretary of State for Transport has so far been around possible Heathrow expansion, but BALPA puts forward that while airport capacity is an important issue, the safety of air travel is a more pressing concern for British pilots and the travelling public.
Jim McAuslan, BALPA General Secretary said, “Fresh faces at the Department for Transport are welcome and we congratulate Patrick McLoughlin on his appointment and wish him well.
“But my first question to him is, “Do you think it’s safe for pilots to be landing their aircraft after being awake for 22 hours? Do you want to allow pilots to fly much further without a relief crew member to share the workload? And do you want to see flight safety threatened by allowing airlines to roster pilots to do an unlimited number of fatiguing early starts?
“These plans are coming to a head in Europe this month, so it’s vital he acts quickly. He must get up to date with these proposals and their implications and we will be ensuring he knows our concerns about them.” www.balpa.org