Dear Members,

The impact of the Covid19 pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, not least financially. In nearly all airlines, your incomes have significantly decreased compared to previous years. Some have even lost their jobs.

Many of you are wondering what is happening with your membership fees. Since all of you form VC's financial backbone with your dues, we will report on this in detail at the general meeting. The upcoming general meeting will take place online on 11 November and we are looking forward to a lively participation.

Our current situation is characterised by two factors: On the one hand, your contributions are directly dependent on your income which in turn is dependent on the amount of flying hours. On the other hand, we are currently facing enormous challenges at the bargaining table and in the flight safety sector: Some employers try to take advantage of the crisis and lower flight deck wage levels in the long term, manufacturers and airlines are working on single pilot concepts, and politicians and society are demanding sustainability in air traffic as well. Our stability and the ability to pursue our goals are therefore more important than ever!

Arne Karstens
Director Admin & Finance

In order to reconcile these two conflicting issues, we have reviewed our expenses and established cost-saving measures. We were able to renegotiate some contracts and have also achieved savings in travel and accommodation. In addition, Covid restrictions resulted in fewer travel costs for our active members anyway and a summer party was not feasible which both helped us reduce spending. We have raised awareness of the issue among our employees and active members and have received a great deal of understanding and support.

However, one thing is clear: we will not cut any expenses that we need to effectively work as a professional association and trade union - our focus stays on successfully representing your interests! It is times like these in which we benefit from our financial reserves. We have invested them in such a way that they serve us as security in the short and medium term, but at the same time also yield sufficient returns so that shocks on the market and inflation are cushioned or compensated for. VC's capacity to act is secured, and it will also be secure in the coming years!

All our expenditures are focused on two things: Being there for our members and represent our interests. A significant part of our budget is consumed by work release and travel costs of active members and by office operation - these expenses are clearly aligned with VC's goals: to be a strong professional association and a strong union as well as to sustainably improve your working conditions.

Opportunity to obtain B.Eng. Degree in two Years

In order to adapt to the current circumstances in aviation, the "ILST" (Aviation Systems Engineering and Management B.Eng.) degree program at Bremen University of Applied Sciences, which has been supported by VC for many years, has been restructured. As a result, pilots with current licenses but no academic qualifications can now obtain a Bachelor of Engineering degree in just four semesters.

Although the official application phase has already closed, the upcoming move-up procedure means that the remaining places for the 2021/22 winter semester can still be filled after the application deadline. Information can be found on the university's homepage:

VC Spokesperson on "Luftraum" Podcast

In the Aerotelegraph's "Luftraum" ("airspace") podcast, VC spokesperson Leila Belaasri talks (in German) about competition in the aviation market, changing conditions for us pilots and, of course, the crisis.

The podcast is available on common platforms, for instance here at without registration.

Landmark Ruling on Bogus Self-Employment in Iceland

A landmark ruling on labour law has been made in Iceland. The airline Bluebird Nordic had dismissed pilots with a collective agreement and replaced them with bogus self-employed workers. The local labour court has now ruled this action illegal.

"The facts of the case are that a rapidly growing Icelandic airline laid off all its pilot who were union members, only weeks after having hired a comparable number of bogus self-employed contractors, ready to replace the union pilots. This was done despite the fact that the Collective Labor Agreement between the parties contained a clear provision on the priority rights of FÍA members to work for Bláfugl, which the court confirmed was still valid, just as the Court of Appeal had previously ruled," says Jón Þór Þorvaldsson, FÍA president.

Iceland is no member of the EU and therefore has different legislation than EU countries, but it is subject to EASA regulation, which makes this decision interesting for us. The ruling is an important victory for our colleagues at Bluebird Nordic as it is for the Icelandic Airline Pilots' Association FÍA and other unions fighting against bogus self-employment.

Helicopter Leaflet: Automation and Flight Path Management

The European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST) has put together a leaflet on automation and flight path management, which EASA draws attention to.

For many years, helicopter manufacturers have been incorporating more and more automated features, for example, to improve stability and for protection. Automation has contributed significantly to improving flight safety, but incidents and accidents have occurred in which automation and complex flight displays played a major role.

According to EHEST, training and control procedures have not always kept pace with technological development. As a result, the team believes that the use of new automated features should be addressed in more detail in training. To that end, the new leaflet provides an overview of the basics of automation and includes a list of principles for optimal use of the systems.

EHEST Leaflet HE 9 Automation and Flight Path Management

(available in English, German and other languages)

Airbus Safety First: Handling of TCAS Alerts

In summer IFALPA addressed the subject of TCAS RA in a Briefing Leaflet after Eurocontrol had found that a large number of RAs were not being followed correctly. Airbus is now also addressing this issue in an article in its Safety First Magazine.

It explains how TCAS Alert Prevention (TCAP) and AP/FD TCAS functions can improve the situation by reducing the number of RAs in congested airspace and helping flight crew to follow TCAS RAs in an optimal manner. In addition, the TCAS warning procedure is explained step by step, with and without AP/FD TCAS function.

Airbus Safety First: Handling of TCAS Alerts

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators


OPS Group - US US entry restrictions

  • More flights over the big pond soon? The US administration has recently decided to reopen the borders for vaccinated Europeans, among others, as of November. OPS Group has compiled the currently available facts:
    US to lift travel ban for vaccinated travellers

ECA - Safety II survey still running

ICAO - Human Performance

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