Dear Members,

After the announcement of the election results at what was, to put it mildly, a somewhat different general meeting, the new Executive Board got straight to work. There just is no break in our day-to-day business. Those of us who were completely newly elected were thrown in at the deep end. But that is absolutely ok as it was unavoidable with respect to the many issues we have to deal with in the VC and the limited time.

Last week's calendar already included a meeting with the spokespersons of the collective bargaining committees (Tarifkommissionen), the two-day Executive Board meeting and the Advisory Board meeting. Our newly elected colleagues were able to get an overview of the current topics of the VC which they had not been involved in before. At the same time, they all familiarised themselves with their new functions on the Board.

One of the more far-reaching decisions that we already took in the first week was the conclusion of the collective agreements at Condor. These agreements - as part of an entire package of measures - contribute to the rescue of the airline. The revocation period ran until the second day of the Board meeting. Our members at Condor have been informed in detail by their collective bargaining committee about the agreements that have now come into force.

Another topic of great importance for the future development of our association was the review and decision on the further course of the #VCNextGen project. You can find more detailed information on this and other topics in the following articles.

Stefan Herth


The next round of the project was supposed to start at the beginning of June. The following topics have already been completed or are about to be completed:

  • Topic 1 - A new approach to collective bargaining: making collective bargaining an efficient process;
  • Topic 2 - A new approach to collective bargaining: comprehensive, effective, strategic;
  • Topic 5 - Flight Safety: An essential pillar of VC;
  • Topic 8 - Professional image and ethos.

We have taken the feedback from these workshops as an opportunity to draw an interim conclusion. We got the impression that in some cases concrete results have already been achieved and in others a good basis for further deepening the respective topic has been developed. Yet, not all objectives seem to have been defined clearly enough in each workshop.

In addition, the expertise of the voluntary VC members was partly lacking, which could also affect the workshops that are yet to be held. Especially with topics concerning the "foundations" of our association, the mix of participants should also represent the entire VC membership well. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have succeeded in this, yet.

We do not consider it reasonable to hold these workshops at this point in time. Therefore, the following workshops, whose number of participants was already very low - also due to cancellations - will be postponed:

  • Topic 3 - Bodies of the association: tasks, composition, scope of action;
  • Topic 4 - Volunteering 2.0;
  • Topic 6 - External communications;
  • Topic 7 - Organisation: VC Office as point of contact for members & regulations.

We now want to revise the overall concept again and also increase the attractiveness of participation in the workshops. If necessary, we will adjust the content of the individual topics. We will also look at the extent to which we need and are able to further concretise the results of the previous workshops.

We need some time for this until we re-advertise the second half of the project. All those who have registered for the workshops so far will remain on the list of participants and will be contacted by us within the framework of the new call for proposals.

In the meantime, we welcome any feedback that will help us to further develop the project. Please send yours to:

Forced Landing of Ryanair Flight 4978 - Political Power Interests must not jeopardize Flight Safety

On May 23, 2021, Ryanair flight FR-4978 en route from Athens to Vilnius was - according to German foreign minister Heiko Maas - forced to divert to Minsk under the pretext of a bomb threat. The German Airline Pilots condemn this serious interference with civil air traffic. Civilian overflight of ICAO member states must be possible without compromising flight safety - regardless of crew members and passengers on board. Forcing an aircraft to land by military means can significantly jeopardize flight safety due to psychological pressure and the deviation from standard procedures.

"This interference with a civil flight en-route from one EU-country to another is absolutely unacceptable," said Leila Belaasri, VC press spokesperson. "The misuse of bomb threats damages confidence in the reliability of authority warnings. It is one of the most serious situations in air travel, putting crews under significant stress and passengers in fear. We have no understanding whatsoever for such demonstrations of political power as we have now had to experience in Belarus. Politics must not be played out on the backs of crews and passengers on planes."

Following the incident in Belarusian airspace, VC is offering support to the colleagues on Ryanair flight 4978 via the VC Support Hotline (see box below this article).

In addition to VC, numerous other organisations have reacted to the incident, including:

New Condor Investor: VC welcomes Job Preservation and long-term Investment as Commitment to Social Partnership

Holiday airline Condor has presented the investor Attestor as new shareholder. With the support of federal and state governments and the great commitment of the employees, socially just and sustainable solutions could be found. In addition, a fleet renewal is under discussion. Overcoming the Corona crisis has thus come a lot closer for the Condorians.

"We are pleased that Condor's future is secured for the long term and that the popular brand will be preserved. The commitment to preserving jobs and modernising the fleet shows confidence in the future viability of the traditional company," said Leila Belaasri, VC's Head of Press and Public Relations. "The employees have shown that they stand behind their Condor and have made a great contribution in this crisis together with the management."

VC/ECA Survey: "Pilots as a Resource for System Resilience"

Dear colleagues,

in recent years, the focus of safety management is no longer only on accidents/incidents, i.e. "what went wrong", but increasingly also on "what went well". This perspective is also called Safety II and refers to the system's ability to succeed under different conditions. More background information on Safety II can be found here:

Safety II thus encompasses the day-to-day performance variability needed to operate successfully and safely even under varying conditions. Humans are a necessary resource for system flexibility and robustness. Pilots have a key role to play in commercial aviation, as they are on the front line of day-to-day operations, creatively dealing with potentially constantly changing environmental conditions.

So far, however, many of the corresponding interventions and actions by pilots have not been recorded. In order to get a first impression of the number and type, the VC Flight Safety Department, in cooperation with the European umbrella organisation European Cockpit Associaton (ECA), has created a survey:

To the survey "Pilots as a Resource for System Resilience"

The survey is deliberately kept simple so that entries can be made within a few minutes. However, for the entry of several interventions/actions, the survey must be restarted each time. The entry for each individual field is optional. Of course, all entries can be made anonymously. This survey is an opportunity for us pilots to fill the area of Safety II with some life - we are looking forward to a lively participation and are very curious about the results.

Boeing 757 Cargo Door opens in Flight - BFU Preliminary Report published

In February, the cargo door of a Boeing 757 opened during the initial climb en route from Leipzig to Frankfurt. The crew subsequently declared an emergency and returned to Leipzig. The BFU (German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation) has now issued a preliminary report on the incident, it can be found on pages 25-46 of the February Bulletin.

To the BFU Bulletin (in German only)

VC Representatives help shape ICAO Guideline against Human Trafficking

The ICAO Guideline on Human Trafficking Reporting has been published. It was drafted with significant input from representatives of our Working Group AAP. The inputs of VC were accepted largely unchanged! The next step in Germany is for authorities and airlines to take appropriate steps so that cockpit and cabin crews can participate more effectively in the prevention of human trafficking.

This result once again shows the great influence that we can have as a professional association at the technical level if we use our expertise in the right places and with the necessary commitment. Of course, we are also active at other levels at ICAO, EASA and other organisations in order to continue to actively shape the topics of flight safety.

Circular 357 - Guidelines for Reporting Trafficking in Persons by Flight and Cabin Crew

IFALPA Video with Participation of several VC Representatives

IFALPA has released a video of one of its ATS Committee's webinars. It highlights the various panels and activities of the committee which mainly concern ICAO and the global level.

The fact that a total of four VC members were part of the webinar demonstrates once again the great VC involvement in international pilot's committees and their respective topics. It also shows how much we can actually achieve for our members and all commercial pilots worldwide through our committee work.

To the video "Understanding the ATS Work Programme"

© SKYbrary

New SKYclip "Changing Runways"

SKYbrary publishes short animation films of about 2 minutes under the name "SKYclip" which focus on a single safety topic in aviation. The latest clip addresses Pilots and Controllers and deals with the topic "Changing Runways". ECA has contributed to its production: To the SKYclips

The team behind SKYclips is always open for new ideas. If you would like to have a particular topic covered or if you have had an incident yourself from which you have learned and from which others could learn as well, write to our WG ATS (email:, who can then make the right contacts.

Update to the FAA Safety Alert for Operators on Covid-19

The FAA has issued a significant update to its Covid-19 SAFO. Key content includes that fully vaccinated crewmembers:

  • no longer need to be quarantined after a Covid-19 exposure unless they have symptoms;
  • may be exempt from periodic Covid-19 testing;
  • continue to be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result before entering the U.S.;
  • must continue to wear masks on aircraft and in transportation centers.

To the SAFO: COVID-19: Updated Interim Occupational Health and Safety Guidance for Air Carriers and Crews

DYNCAT Project to provide Support for more environmentally friendly Approach Profiles

In their guest article on the DYNCAT project on the VC Info website, Christoph G. Kühne and Marco Scholz from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) explain how they plan to support pilots in the future with "Dynamic Configuration Adjustment in the TMA" (DYNCAT) for an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly approach profile. The recently launched project is coordinated by DLR and conducted in collaboration with Swiss, Thales, Empa and SkyLab. Results are expected in mid-2022.

To the article (in German only)

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators


  • Senior Management Career Opportunity: IFALPA is looking for a full-time Technical Director at its headquarters in Montreal: To the job posting

OPS Group

  • What is the best course of action when lithium-ion batteries overheat on board? The OPS Group takes a closer look at the matter, or rather the technology of the batteries, and explains practical steps for crews faced with such an incident: Dangerous Goods: The Bad Ones

We continuously strive to improve our newsletter and welcome your feedback. Please send comments and suggestions to or use the reply function of your mail programme. To stay up to date with the latest news, follow us on: