Dear Members,

Our flight training and our work in the cockpit have a great value. A value for our employers, for the economy, for society as a whole and of course for each and every one of us personally! Our knowledge of this has always led to a healthy self-confidence and a positive self-image in our profession, which was and is usually reflected externally. We very rarely needed proof of our qualifications outside of licences and ratings. In the past, it was simply not necessary to have official certification of our value.

But as the past decade progressed, problems started becoming foreseeable - even though they were much less urgent than today. With the Covid crisis, these problems have intensified extremely in the last two years and have become very acute for many of us!

Farid Merdaci
Board Member

The dramatic cutbacks in air traffic during the crisis and the consequences that many of us have had to face have revealed that we need more than our licences and ratings for official purposes with authorities as well as with employers outside the airline world. Our qualifications, which go far beyond these licences and ratings to operate an aircraft, need to be officially manifested and documented. The current situation makes it difficult to change jobs, take up further qualification measures and study, and in the worst case, to register with the employment agency if you have lost your job.

That is why we have been working for some time on the classification of our qualifications at Level 6 in the German Qualifications Framework (DQR). What this means for the profession and how far this process has actually progressed is discussed by VC press officer Leila Belaasri, the head of our capital representative office, Bastian Roet, and me in the current episode of the VC Podcast (in German). We would appreciate if you took a listen!

Click here to listen to the VC Podcast (in German)

VC Webcast launched - Your Input is wanted

New year, new format: the VC webcast is here! With it, we want to improve exchange with you and inform you once a month about current VC topics (yet, you would need to understand/speak German for it, as it is recorded in German because the majority of our members is German speaking). Above all, we would also like to take up your questions to the board. We will answer them in the videos after our board meetings and inform you about all the main topics that are moving our association, what issues the board has on its agenda and where VC is headed as a whole.

In the first webcast, Stefan Herth and Leila Belaasri talk about the year 2022 and structural developments in the airline world: What does this mean for us, our working conditions and our collective bargaining? How should VC as a whole be positioned and structured? In which way do we need to adapt? These and more questions are addressed.

Watch the first webcast here: (in German)

We want your input!

Our new webcast will focus on the exchange with you! Therefore, please send us your questions to the Executive Board and your suggestions to We will collect and respond to your input in the videos with changing board members. We are looking forward to your questions and the exchange with you and we wish you all a very good and healthy year 2022.

New Podcast Episode: Classification of the Pilot Profession in the German Qualifications Framework

The pilot profession is not a profession in the formal sense in Germany since it is "only" based on a licence. This makes it difficult to classify the profession in the German labour market. For this reason, VC has decided last year to strive for a classification in the German Qualifications Framework (Deutscher Qualifikationsrahmen - DQR). To this end, we have created a comprehensive catalogue of qualifications that systematically records the skills of pilots.

In this episode of the VC Podcast, Leila Belaasri talks with Farid Merdaci and Bastian Roet about how the classification procedure works, what it actually means and what advantages the classification could have for you. New on the show: VC office dog Django.

Click here to listen to the podcast (in German)

Member Service: Free Financial Analysis

Perhaps now, at the beginning of the year, some of you are wondering whether you are on the right track financially or whether you are sufficiently covered. Meanwhile, many insurance brokers are waiting to sell us their products. But are they suitable for your particular situation? Are they even necessary?

In order to be able to answer these and other questions independently, a DIN standard (German Industrial Standard) for financial analysis was introduced in 2019. This comprehensive analysis is normally only available for a fee. However, our cooperation partner Albatros now offers it free of charge to all VC members. You can find more information and the link to make an appointment in the members' area of our website at (login required).

DWD Guest Article: The Cross Border Forecast

This risk matrix has been used since 2020 to forecast thunderstorms according to customer requirements.
© Deutscher Wetterdienst

European weather services have been cooperating more closely for some time now to provide better information on thunderstorms to air traffic. Since several years, a special consolidated thunderstorm forecast for aviation has been helping reduce delays due to convective weather. The German Weather Service DWD has been participating in the test phase for this since 2018, which is officially called "EUMETNET Cross Border Forecast Trial for the Network Manager at EUROCONTROL".

Against the background of considerable delays due to convective weather conditions in 2018 and 2019, EUMETNET, the association of national European meteorological services, started to develop a common thunderstorm forecast for European airspace. Back until then, only national products were produced, which were neither coordinated nor actually comparable.

The contents of these cross-border forecasts are weather maps for four time periods of the following day (D-1), which are updated the following morning and at noon (D-0, D-0/U). For each forecast map, risk areas are drawn to indicate the possible occurrence of convection.

In his VC Info guest article, DWD's Clemens Weidemann explains details and advantages of the Cross Border Forecast.

To the guest article: The Cross Border Forecast

AIRPROX Update 2021

In VC Info, we regularly inform about cases from the "Air Proximity Evaluation Group" (APEG), which evaluates dangerous proximities between aircraft (AIRPROX). The data of all analyses of the year 2021 ist now available, which Felix Gottwald of the AG ATS has edited.

In total, 42 AIRPROX were analysed by APEG: 9 cases of category A with serious collision risk, 16 cases of category B, in which the safety of at least one aircraft was not ensured, 13 cases without collision risk, which fall into category C, and 4 cases in which an assessment was not possible.

To the AIRPROX Update 2021

Mental Well-Being, Mental Health and Peer Support for Flight Crews

The requirements profile for cockpit crews describes a broad spectrum of skills and qualifications. In order to cope with a high workload, critical situations and work-related stressors, a balance of personality factors - e.g. self-control, conscientiousness etc. - is necessary.

Regular training in techniques and procedures is supposed to create a routine to help cockpit crews stay focused and confident in any situation. The combination of the personality structure of cockpit crews and the partly trained psychological resistance (resilience) can be an effective prevention against mental disorders and illnesses.

However, cockpit crews are not invulnerable. In addition to professional challenges, they are equally exposed to private stresses (e.g. separation, a death or serious illness in the family, the Covid crisis etc.). In this context, the terms Mental Well-Being, Mental Health and Peer Support come up again and again. Nina Moers from our Diversity and Social Working Group explains what these terms actually mean.

To the article: Mental Well-Being, Mental Health and Peer Support for Cockpit Crews

5G in the United States

Mobile Radio Antennas

As mentioned in the last Waypoints newsletter, the FAA has issued a publication on possible interference between 5G transmitters and radio altimeters. On 17 December, EASA issued a publication on this topic. EASA does not see an immediate need for action as other mobile radio characteristics are used and no incidents have been reported in Europe so far, as it states in EASA AD 2021-16.

Further action will be coordinated with the FAA, and in the meantime we have the following recommendations for you:

  • Observe current NOTAM: In particular, FAA AD 2021-23-12 should be mentioned here, which points out restrictions on low-visibility approaches. This should definitely be considered during flight preparation and operation.
  • Possible scenarios of incorrect radio altimeter readings should be trained in the simulator.
  • Any incidents that occur should be reported through the established reporting channels.

The manufacturers Boeing and Airbus as well as the association A4A ("Airlines for America") see great potential for disruption in the operation of 5G transmitters in the C-band with corresponding consequences for the safe and economic conduct of flights, as this Reuters report shows.

The launch of 5G operations in the US in the C-band has meanwhile been postponed by the mobile operators for another two weeks. Buffer zones will also be established around 50 airports for six months based on certain criteria: FAA information website on 5G

New SKYclip

The SKYbrary (check the new layout that has been introduced recently) regularly publishes animated films of a maximum length of three minutes on a safety-relevant aviation topic (SKYclips). Through our European umbrella organisation ECA, VC experts are sometimes involved in the production. The latest video is about correctly following TCAS RAs and important recommendations for pilots. Even if this sounds self-explanatory, studies show again and again that too many TCAS RAs are not flown correctly and that there is still significant potential for improvement.

Click here for the SKYclip "TCAS RA Not Followed".

If you have an idea which topic should be urgently addressed in a SKYclip or if you yourself have had an incident from which you have learned and from which others could also learn, please send an email to our ATS Working Group:

Airbus Safety First Magazine: Landing with Nosewheels at 90 Degrees

Following several incidents in recent years where the nose landing gear on Airbus A320 aircraft was rotated 90 degrees on landing, Airbus Safety First Magazine has addressed the issue. According to Airbus, the incidents had different causes and various mitigation measures have been taken. The article analyses five different incidents and gives advice on how to avoid them.

To the article: Landing with Nosewheels at 90 degrees

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators

IFALPA - Various new Publications

  • Our international umbrella organisation has been very productive in recent weeks and has once again published numerous new position papers and briefing leaflets on the following topics:
    • Positive Safety Culture
    • Controlled Rest on the Flight Deck
    • Pilots' Responsibilities when Accepting ATC Clearances
    • Visual Approach Considerations in the USA (You might also want to check the VC Info article Visual Approach Go-Around in den USA [in German] on this topic)
    • Crew Member Security Aspects of an Operator's Security Program
    • Deployment of IFSOs in the Passenger Cabin
    • Aviation Security: the role of IFALPA & its Member Associations.
  • All above mentioned papers can be found on the IFALPA-Website at "Documents".

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