Dear colleagues,

it is about time that something moves in the matter of sustainable aviation. Even if the issue is currently overshadowed by the Corona crisis and job worries: We must finally make progress on climate protection in aviation!

However, due to the scope and complexity of the processes involved, this can only succeed if things are taken forward in a uniform manner at EU level and also internationally.

VC has therefore joined the call of a coalition of European aviation and environmental organizations and supports the introduction of sustainable aviation fuels (Sustainable Aviation Fuels = SAFs) as a scalable, long-term viable solution for decarbonizing European aviation. We are demanding that the EU play a pioneering role in the production and use of SAFs.

Not only must Europe make rapid progress on climate policy, but we also want to make our industry fit for technological change in the long term. This is the only way we can secure our jobs in the future!

Maria-Pascaline Murtha
Vorständin Internationales

AIRPROX in lower airspace: VC heads new BMVI working group

The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has established two new working groups to address the issue of AIRPROX. In addition to VC, airlines, general aviation associations and German Air Traffic Control (DFS) have also joined the initiative.

Working Group 1 is concerned with the revision of the airspace criteria. This includes structural changes, such as Transponder Mandatory Zones (TMZ), which are considered from the perspective of modern Safety Risk Management. Working Group 2 'AIRPROX and APEG', under the leadership of Felix Gottwald, head of the VC AG ATS, will analyze current reporting channels and develop recommendations for a uniform and standardized evaluation of reports on dangerous approaches.

You can read more information in the VC Info.

VC demands entitlement to short-time pay for Malta Air crews

The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) has called on the Federal Employment Agency and the German government to treat Malta Air employees in Germany the same as their colleagues from other airlines during the Covid-19 crisis.

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Malta Air negotiated agreements with the Vereinigung Cockpit union to safeguard pilots' jobs and prevent job losses in Germany. These include measures such as significant temporary wage cuts and reduced working hours, combined with compensation payments calculated on the basis of SGB III. We expect the German Federal Employment Agency to provide short-time working benefits for these employees who are based in Germany, work in Germany and pay German taxes and German social security contributions.

The decision by the Cologne Employment Agency to withhold short-time working benefits from Malta Air crews employed in Germany unnecessarily creates further uncertainty. While this decision has been and continues to be the subject of litigation before the competent social court, VC's goal is to continue the short-time work arrangements, including appropriate social guarantees and protection against dismissal for its crews, at least until December 31, 2021.

Malta Air pilots pay full taxes and social security contributions in Germany. Therefore, in our estimation, they are also fully entitled to short-time allowance and all other social benefits. Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Great Britain as well as Belgium have recognized the Ryanair Group as an employer with all rights and obligations and have paid corresponding benefits in connection with short-time work to the employees working there.

At Malta Air, the VC negotiated protection under German labor law in particular through a VTV (collective pay agreement). It is therefore very disappointing to see that airline staff are now receiving second class treatment from the government. The state should be on the side of workers in distress and not act against their interests.

© NORRIE3699 / Shutterstock


An 'Aircraft Proximity ', or AIRPROX for short, is a situation in which, in the opinion of the cockpit crew or air traffic control, two aircraft have come too close to each other. In addition to relative position, the speed of approach is also taken into account. The 'Air Proximity Evaluation Group ' (APEG) meets regularly to evaluate aircraft proximities perceived as dangerous by cockpit crews or air traffic control.

Felix Gottwald from the Air Traffic Services WG has compiled an overview of current cases for you. You will also find the current best practices for the Echo airspace and the AIRPROX hotspot map for Germany.

Airspace changes 2021

As every year, there will be adjustments to the airspace structures of some airports in 2021. On the one hand, this may become necessary due to changes in procedures, but also if safety risks have been identified. The VC's ATS working group is closely monitoring the adjustment of the airspace structure and is actively proposing changes to increase safety. The decision is ultimately made by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
An innovation in the VFR route charts is the introduction of a red cross marking the beginning of the final approach of IFR procedures. Since many general aviation pilots previously lacked this information, they were often unaware that they had to grant a right of way to other aircraft on approach here.

The airspace changes in detail as well as the corresponding maps can be found on the VC Info website.

© Jacques Tarnero / Shutterstock

SORA: New basis for drone operations

At the turn of the year, two EU regulations came into force that place the operation of drones in Europe under a uniform set of rules. Because this area of aviation is new territory, EASA's risk-based approach can be implemented from the outset for the first time.

According to the new regulations, the operation of drones is divided into three categories: The open, the special and the certified category.

The risk assessment method is called SORA: Specific Operations Risk Assessment. It comprises a multi-stage process in which risks and measures to reduce them are assessed. This is the basis for issuing operating licenses.

For more information on SORA and the interfaces to manned aviation, please see VC Info.

Airbus Safety First Magazine: Unreliable Airspeed at Take Off

Despite preventive measures and the walkaround, takeoffs with clogged air data probes can occur. Airbus has recently received an increasing number of unreliable airspeed reports at T/O due to blocked pitot tubes.

The recent Airbus Safety First Magazine article clarifies why airspeed should be actively monitored throughout the T/O roll to detect a discrepancy as early as possible and safely abort the takeoff if necessary.

News from unions, organisations and agencies



  • Drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia are increasingly posing a threat to flights into or over the country. IFALPA has published the safety bulletin 'Saudi Arabia - Yemen Airspace'.

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