BALPA pilots call for clarity on no-fly zones

MH17In response to the full report into the shooting down of MH17, British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) pilots are calling for accurate information about where is safe to fly to be shared by nation states, and operators worldwide.

A statement from BALPA reads: ‘Pilots take their responsibility to protect passengers very seriously and want clear direction from the UN on how safe routes are, particularly when close to or above conflict zones. They are encouraged by the setting up of a system to share information worldwide but say all countries now need to help make it work.’

Following MH17, BALPA called for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to take the lead in decision making regarding overflying areas of conflict. Those calls were answered and a system for sharing information was set up. But BALPA argues it is only as good as the information put in and not all counties are contributing data and using the information. This work must develop and grow to enable nation states to share knowledge for the good of all air operators, their passengers and crew, says BALPA.

Stephen Landells is Flight Safety Specialist at BALPA. He said, “Pilots want to make every flight safe and comfortable for passengers and need cast-iron information to ensure where they are flying is safe. Passengers and pilots want an open and uniform level of safety, not one that is decided in secret and in different ways by airlines and countries.

“This new system for sharing information is in its infancy and the UK is leading the way in making it happen. Now the aviation community worldwide needs to work together to share information. We would like ICAO and the UN to use their influence to encourage all nation states to take advantage of this unique resource to ensure the safety of the travelling public worldwide.”