Dear Members,

The #VCNextGen project has reached a milestone: The Values Commission has completed its work and presented a set of values for VC. The principles that have been developed are to serve as guidelines for the work of all bodies and organs in the future.

For this framework of values to be fully effective, it must be legitimized directly by the members, i.e. by you. For this reason, the basic values developed by the commission will be presented at an extraordinary general meeting in the third quarter of this year to be decided upon and thus incorporated into our Articles of Association.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Values Commission for their outstanding work - VC thrives on just such strong commitment from its members!

Janis Schmitt
Board Member Press & PR

75. IFALPA Conference

Due to the pandemic situation, this year's IFALPA conference was held online from March 17-19, 2021 as a hybrid event with webinars (videos) and live meetings.

It was clear from the presentations at the Regional Meetings that everyone is struggling with the consequences of the pandemic. However, most countries in the world do not have such employee-friendly regulations as we do in Germany. The percentage of pilots worldwide seems to be decreasing, as many find employment (after losing their jobs in the airline industry) in sectors outside the industry. However, both vaccination and quarantine regulations as well as testing procedures are unsettling not only pilots worldwide, but also the general public, who are holding back on bookings.

Elections were also held this year. Particularly pleasing for VC: Our members Tanja Harter and Nikolaus Braun were confirmed in their positions as chairpersons of the HUPER Committee and the ADO Committee, respectively! We wish them continued success in their activities for IFALPA.

Further Information

On the IFALPA Youtube channel you can find the videos "Keynote Address", "President's State of the Federation Address" as well as the "Global Pilots Symposium 2021". You can also find more information about the IFALPA conference here:

DAS WG: Maternity Protection and Breastfeeding

In the current VC Info article "Maternity Protection and Breastfeeding" (in German only), the DAS WG (Diversity and Social) provides information on the most important points of the Maternity Protection Act and on the rights and obligations set out therein.

VC Expert Felix Gottwald at Public Hearing in the Transport Committee

On Monday, April 19, 2021, the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure dealt in a public hearing with the draft law of the Federal Government "to adapt national regulations to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019 / 947 of May 24, 2019 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft".

The bill aims to amend regulations in the Air Traffic Law, the Air Traffic Regulations and other laws and regulations. The bill serves to ensure the full applicability of the European Commission's EU Implementing Regulation 2019 / 947 in Germany. The implementing regulation lays down rules on unmanned aviation, the main purpose of which is to ensure the uniform and safe operation of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Felix Gottwald, Head of the ATS WG, was invited as an expert to the Transport Committee of the Bundestag and answered the questions of the MPs in several rounds to address the technical background and need for improvement of the draft law.

The statement of Felix Gottwald can be found on the official website of the Bundestag:

Council of the EU should not sign Qatar Air Transport Agreement

The "Europeans for Fair Competition" (E4FC) initiative criticizes the decision of the EU Commission to submit the air transport agreement between the EU and Qatar to the EU Council for conclusion. As a member of E4FC, Vereinigung Cockpit fully endorses this criticism and rejects a conclusion of the agreement in its current version at this point in time.

Instead, EU member states are urged to postpone the signing of the agreement. The EU Commission should re-evaluate the agreement in light of COVID-19 crisis and its updated environmental policy goals to bring it in line with the changed conditions.

Under the current circumstances, the deal would negatively impact the recovery of the EU aviation industry, jeopardize additional jobs, and distort the conditions of competition. If signed by EU member states, the agreement would allow a large and unilateral opening of the EU market to Qatar Airways, an airline that already claims to be the largest in the world and - thanks to unlimited government support - has chosen to fly more routes than any other airline during the COVID-19 crisis, regardless of passenger demand.

New VC Position Paper: Weather Information for Flight Crews

Thunderstorms appear where they were not predicted, ground fog forms surprisingly fast and our last TAFs do not indicate any of this. Turning on the EFB and being able to see at a glance the weather situation along the flight route, retrieving the latest weather information for destination or enroute alternates, or even the direction a thunderstorm is moving... these valuable capabilities are available to very few pilots in cockpits of modern commercial aircraft.

The Weather Group, as a subgroup of the ATS WG, has addressed this very issue and prepared a position paper for VC. The use of weather information on EFBs varies from operator to operator, ranging from historically old-fashioned to state-of-the-art visualizations.

Our position paper gives an overview of the possibilities we are aiming for and at the same time shows the necessity to use the modern possibilities in terms of flight safety and efficient flight operations.

VC Position: Weather Information for Flight Crews (in German only)

VC Emergency Hotline - No Day Like Any Other

Our emergency phone hotline has been reorganized with a new operator including a new concept as well as new checklists for the care and support team. With this reorganisation we want to ensure the best advice for VC members in case of emergency.

Dieter Spiess gen. Bongard, Hendrik Wille and Jens Piotter from the Accident Analysis & Prevention WG act out a fictitious taxiing incident of an A330 in New York for their article on the VC Info website, both from the perspective of the captain and from the perspective of the helper on the phone:

No Day Like Any Other - A Fictional Incident Provides Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses of the VC Emergency Hotline (in German only, "Kein Tag wie jeder andere - Ein fiktiver Incident gewährt Einblicke hinter die Kulissen des VC-Notfalltelefons")

Safety Bulletin: ATC-0 in US Class A Airspace

IFALPA draws attention to a Safety Alert of ALPA, that deals with "ATC Zero" events in US Class A Airspace.

As part of its contingency planning for the closure of air traffic control facilities, also termed “ATC Zero”  (ATC-0),  the  FAA is  utilizing  an  airspace  management  strategy that allows operations during ATC-0 situations in Class A airspace. The ATC-0 operations are conducted without the availability of ATC services, including aircraft-to-aircraft separation, ATC surveillance, and air-to-ground communications with air traffic controllers. Flight crews will generally be on their own to maintain safety in ATC-0 airspace.

Safety Bulletin: Operations in US Class A Airspace Without ATC Communications or ATC Surveillance

Caution for flights to/over Albania

IFALPA draws attention to problems in Albania. The Albanian airspace (LAAA/Tirana FIR) and Tirana Airport (LATI) were closed on April 8, 2021 due to a shortage of air traffic control personnel. There is an ongoing dispute between air traffic control and the authorities that has led to the detention of three air traffic controllers.

Although the airspace has been reopened, the Albanian controllers still working are under extreme pressure regarding their future employment. There are reports that controllers have been brought in from other states to replace the Albanian controllers, their status in terms of training and local ratings is unknown.

IFALPA asks pilots to exercise extreme caution when operating in this airspace.

IFALPA Press Release: IFALPA Calls on Albania to Adhere to International Regulations and Free Three Air Traffic Controllers

OPS Group has also published an article on this topic: New warning for Albanian airspace.

New airspace warnings for Ukraine

OPS Group points out that the FAA has expanded its warnings for the airspace in a 100 NM corridor on both sides of the border between Ukraine and Russia.

EASA has also issued an updated airspace warning for eastern Ukraine on Apr. 17: Conflict Zone Information Bulletin: Airspace of Eastern Ukraine.

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators


  • IFALPA has released a joint bulletin with IATA, CANSO, and IFATCA on Safety Risk Assessments (SRA) on the effects of COVID on operations. It is a result of the SRA and the webinar series Safely Navigating the Industry Recovery. It highlights key considerations with regards to the impacts of health measures on operational staff, the possible long-term impacts of COVID infections, and best practices for health measures: Bulletin 5 - Occupational Health and Safety in the Context of COVID

OPS Group


  • ICAO has its own web TV channel: provides numerous videos on the various topics of the international aviation organisation.

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