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First of all I would like to wish everybody a good, healthy and safe 2014!

Within ECA we see a lot of challenges ahead of us this year. One of our main priorities for the months to come will be to thoroughly analyse and encourage Fair Competition between airlines in Europe and beyond. Unfair competition is bad for the economy but it is also bad for pilots and employees of airlines that follow the rules. Every airline should evolve in the same legal and social environment and governments should play a fair role which, while supporting the industry, does not affect the legitimate rights and expectations of the other players. This is of major importance today given the dire economic situation in our region and the many pilot jobs at risk.

In this Cockpit News you can read more about the recent developments on two other issues in which ECA has been heavily involved. First, we take a look at Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) – the first competency-based pilot licence. Already in 2006, when the MPL was introduced by ICAO, ECA warned about the concerns of the pilot community. Now, looking at MPL from a time distance, ECA analyses how MPL has been approached, implemented and whether the previous concerns were justified. 

Secondly, we look at a new European rule which partially lifts the ban on (Duty Free) liquids on board of commercial flights. This is a first step towards allowing every passenger to once again transport liquids in their carry-on baggage when travelling. There is still a long way to go before this becomes reality and ECA will continue to follow up and work towards efficient aviation security.

At the end of last year we produced our Flight Plan to Safety, our Pilot Training Compass and our view on adequate legislation. These publications show how we feel about the current situation and what, according to us, can be improved to enhance safety in the years to come. You can read them online or request a hard copy.

by Nico Voorbach