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BALPA claims half of pilots have fallen asleep while flying
27 September 2013

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) released findings of survey, claiming half of pilots have fallen asleep while flying. 

On September 30 the European Parliament’s transport committee will vote on a European Commission proposal to tighten and standardise flight time limits for pilots across the European Union. This proposal has been under fire from European pilots unions for several months.

On September 26, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), released the findings of a survey on flight time limits. Of the 500 commercial pilots that participated, 56% say they have fallen asleep on the flight deck and of those who admitted this, nearly 1 in 3 (29%) said they woke to find the other pilot asleep.
Also, 31% don’t believe their airline has a culture that lends itself to reporting tiredness concerns with a half (51%) saying they believed their airline Chief Executive would back them if they refused to fly because of tiredness.

Jim McAuslan, General Secretary of BALPA, said about these findings: “Tiredness is already a major challenge for pilots who are deeply concerned that unscientific new EU rules will cut UK standards and lead to increased levels of tiredness, which has been shown to be a major contributory factor in air accidents.”

EASA has previoulsy issued a statement on the concerns voiced by  the European Cockpit Association, stating amongst others: “More than 50 scientific studies were analysed, with a particular focus on the effects of disruptive schedule, while all concerned stakeholder groups including flight and cabin crew organisations, airlines, and Member State representatives were consulted throughout the process.”

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