BALPA: “Pilot’s role is key in assessment of safety risks”


Ahead of his speech to delegates at the Airport Operators Association conference today, The General Secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association, Jim McAuslan, has said that pilots are an untapped resource of expertise and experience in the fight against terror and the other major threats to the safety of passengers, aircraft and crew.

“Pilots have a key role to play in helping understand, evaluate and challenge the assessment of security risks. With millions of hours flying experience, and first-hand and up-to-date knowledge of the world’s airports, pilots have a unique vantage that should be harnessed to keep passengers and crew safe,” McAuslan said.

“Terrorism is a risk that must be tackled and planes, passengers and crew must not be left in the firing line. Pilots want to be engaged in discussions about security at both airline and governmental level. They need timely and accurate information about security threats and a robust system for reporting their own security concerns. Pilots are on the front line of global travel. Let’s use their experience to make them the eyes and ears of decision makers” he added.

“Pilots believe it is crucial to tackle other serious risks alongside current security threats,” continued McAuslan. “Evidence tells us the next major accident is just as likely to be caused by an inexperienced crew, flying on a temporary contract and suffering fatigue after a disrupted day. We need to ensure that’s not the case through tight regulation and tough enforcement of those rules.”

“All pilots take their responsibility for the safety of their passengers extremely seriously and want to be engaged in discussions to keep aviation safe. Their experience and expertise could and should be used to help create long term solutions aimed at keeping passengers and crews safe.”