Bennion: UK government right to support EU pilot flying time limits

Speaking after new rules on flying time limits were rejected in the European Parliament’s Transport Committee today, Liberal Democrat MEP Phil Bennion commented:

“I am not convinced by the argument put forward by the pilots union that this proposal would lower standards in the UK. The British government was advised by the Civil Aviation Authority on all the safety aspects throughout the negotiations, and I believe they were right in saying that the best balance had already been struck.” 

Phil Bennion, who is the Liberal Democrat’s Transport Spokesman in the European Parliament, called for rapid progress on the proposal, which is now set to be voted on in the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg:

 “If we fail to get agreement on this package, we will be stuck with the existing dogs’ breakfast of 28 different sets of national rules. Applying common rules would mean less unnecessary red tape for airlines, fewer delays for passengers and a more efficient and environmentally sustainable aviation market. British passengers travelling on other European airlines will also be far safer in the knowledge that there are robust, common limits on maximum flight time for pilots across the EU.”

The UK government position is to back the European Commission’s proposal. A government briefing from UKREP stressed that the regulation will “deliver a significant improvement in safety across the EU as a whole.” It added that “there is no scientific evidence to suggest that any of the specific limits established in the Regulation are unsafe,” and that “the Government is satisfied that the Regulation will not lead to any diminution in safety in the UK.” The briefing concluded that “failure to adopt the Regulation with result in the existing, less effective, EU rules remaining force with no scope for amendment for a number of years.”

One thought on “Bennion: UK government right to support EU pilot flying time limits

  1. But Phil these rules are less restrictive than those already in force in the UK and have no basis in science or medicine. What other area of transport do we go backwards in terms of safety regulation?

    And why does it require half of the total number of MEP’s to vote against on 9th Oct for these proposals to be rejected – Democracy, I don’t think so!