Dear Members,

We are following the news about Russia's military attack on Ukraine, which started last night, with great concern. Even and especially against the background of such disturbing news, the motto Safety First must always apply to us as flight crews! The VC Executive Board, the Flight Safety Department as well as our safety experts of the Security Working Group are seeking a close exchange with authorities and airlines and are closely monitoring the situation with regard to flight safety.

Ukraine has closed its airspace to civilian flights in accordance with ICAO regulations. As VC, we endorse EASA's recommendation for air traffic regarding Ukraine. When flying in Russian airspace, a minimum distance of 100 NM should be maintained from the border with Ukraine. We generally advise avoiding all airspace which status and safety are unclear.

Vivianne Rehaag
Director Flight Safety

Furthermore, we welcome the recently published international recommendations regarding the highly dynamic situation in Ukraine. In this serious situation, cooperation between safety authorities, airlines and pilot associations in assessing the situation is essential. There should be an open exchange between all stakeholders with responsibility for civil aviation security.

The situation must be constantly reassessed and up-to-date information must be made available to flight crews in order to enable adequate and safe flight planning.

We will of course keep you informed, especially in the event that our assessment of the situation changes.


Dear Members,

We would like to inform you about the current status of the #VCNextGen project. As of now, the only part of the project that has been completed is the work of the Values Commission. The workshops that were subsequently advertised in various subject areas only met with partial interest and were therefore not carried out in their entirety. It turned out that your interest was mainly directed towards job profile, flight safety and collective bargaining policy issues. The results or interim statuses achieved in the associated workshops continue to occupy us as part of our efforts to modernise and develop VC further.

In the area of Flight Safety, the #VCNextGen member survey was evaluated and results were used to modernise and adapt the content of our website. We have bundled Flight Safety content in a new section (click here or see the news below) and hope to meet your needs for information in this area even better. The revision of the section is not yet complete. We will continue to use the results of the survey to optimise the website.

We have used the Flight Safety workshop results to compare the actual status quo to the vision of the participants. In the meantime, we have initiated numerous measures to adapt our working methods accordingly. In order to make the work of our working groups and task forces more visible, the Communications Department has launched a podcast series on Flight Safety topics. It provides the chance to communicate important Flight Safety issues as well as the working groups' achievements. I would like to thank Leila Belaasri and her entire team for this opportunity. In addition, we are currently reviewing the efficiency of work processes, interfaces and media used for Flight Safety work to make the best possible use of our capacities. All these changes have been initiated as a result of your input, and numerous measures originating from your ideas are still in the process of evaluation. These include, for example, the introduction of project work for a limited period of time, the participation in projects regardless of physical presence and increased support from our full-time staff.

In the area of collective bargaining, you have also filed many ideas that we not only compared to the current status but also examined in relation to our Industrial Council approach. To further develop these ideas, we had planned a large meeting at the end of last year, which was to be attended by all VC bargaining experts and the participants of our bargaining policy workshops. Unfortunately, this meeting could not be held due to Covid-19, so that the possible changes could not be discussed and evaluated. We will make up for this in June this year.

As already mentioned, the Values Commission has already produced a solid result. Even though we originally intended to present and implement this together with all other results at the general assembly, we have come to the conclusion that we should not wait any longer for the mission statement and values to be include in the VC statutes. The workshops participants have already received the mission and values documents, so that they have already had the chance to shape new ideas. Now we would also like to raise general awareness for our mission and values amongst you, the members, as well as our staff. Therefore, we will propose to include them in the statutes at the upcoming general assembly to anchor them as a foundation for the work of VC.

Best regards
Your Executive Board

VC mourns the Death of "Candy Bomber" Gail Halvorsen

In deep mourning, the German Airline Pilots' Association Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) says goodbye to one of the most famous Berlin Airlift pilots, Colonel Gail Halvorsen. He passed away at the age of 101.

VC President Stefan Herth says: "We bow our heads to Gail Halvorsen and say goodbye to a great pilot who was a close friend of our association. His life and his actions have been and will remain a lasting symbol of reconciliation and of international understanding. We will miss him."

Gail Halvorsen actively supported VC in bringing the World Conference of International Air Line Pilots' Associations to Berlin for the 70th anniversary of the Airlift. In Halvorsen's spirit, the conference which welcomed participants from more than one hundred countries, was held under the slogan "Building Bridges".

Colonel Halvorsen, as a pilot of the Airlift, had been the first to start dropping sweets for the Berlin children on parachutes made of handkerchiefs on the approach to Berlin. After a short time, his action led to "Operation Little Vittles", in which more than 23 tons of sweets were dropped over Berlin between September 1948 and May 1949. Halvorsen was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit and was, among other things, commander of the 7350th Air Base Group at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport.

EASA Conflict Zone Information Bulletin Ukraine

EASA has published a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin for Ukraine. It comprises the following areas:

  • All altitudes / flight levels of the following Flight Information Regions: FIR LVIV (UKLV), FIR KYIV (UKBV), FIR DNIPROPETROVSK (UKDV), FIR SIMFEROPOL (UKFV), FIR ODESA (UKOV).
  • 100NM within the borders of Belarus and Russian Federation surrounding the borders with Ukraine.
  • A portion of the southern FIR Rostov (URRV) airspace along the border with eastern Ukraine (NOTAM URRV U0104/22).

Click here for the Bulletin.

Reduced Runway Separation at Night

The Airport Local Runway Safety Teams point out that the reduced runway separation procedure is being increasingly used again at German airports due to increased traffic. Originally, this was only to be permitted in Germany during the day until 27 January 2022 (SR +30min/ SS -30min). Contrary to this original planning, the procedure will now also be used beyond 27 January 2022 at night. EU law does actually not permit the use at night, but an application for continued use at night has been submitted by DFS. While this application is being processed, everything will remain the same.

Further news from the Local Runway Safety Teams can be found on the VC Info Website.

New Podcast Episode: Radiation Protection

Ralph Zander, Deputy Head of the Radiation Protection WG, is Leila Belaasri's guest in the new VC Podcast episode. Among other things, they talk about the individual "radiation protection account" and ways to reduce the intensity of radiation during flight. For those who prefer reading to listening, we recommend Ralph's article in VC Info on the solar flare last Halloween: Süßes, sonst gibt's Strahlung?! (in German only)

By the way: You can subscribe to the radiation protection newsletter here.

You can hear everything else directly from Ralph here in the VC Podcast (in German).

VC/ECA Expert Moritz Bürger in Hearing on EU Drone Strategy

On behalf of ECA, VC member Moritz Bürger participated in the hearing of the EU Directorate General Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE). As an expert on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), he presented the pilot priorities with regard to the EU Drone Strategy 2.0:

For a broad acceptance of Urban Air Mobility (use of drones in urban areas), an inclusive process for the design and operation of the so-called U-Space should be mandated, not just proposed. U-Space is intended to unite many different users and standards and function more or less like an automated air traffic control system for UAS. However, essential services have not been sufficiently considered in this framework so far. As important examples, the ECA mentions tactical instructions for collision avoidance and a common altitude reference system.

Technical University Berlin: Pilots wanted for Evaluation of newly developed Flap System

Cockpit of the SEPHIR research simulator, © TU Berlin

Within the joint project INTELWI - Intelligent Wing, the Technical University of Berlin, in cooperation with Airbus, DLR and other partners and universities, is developing a new type of automatically continuously moving flap system. The aim of this system is to reduce fuel consumption by constantly adapting the wing configuration to current airspeed on final approach. In addition, the system should shorten approaches, thus support new approach procedures (e.g.: Time-Based Separation TBS) and reduce cockpit workload during approach. To evaluate the system, a series of tests with pilots with an Airbus type rating is planned in the SEPHIR research flight simulator at TU Berlin.

Further information and the contact for participation in the project can be found here in the PDF.


Update: Easy Access Rules for Aircrew

EASA has published a new revision of the Easy Access Rules (EAR) for Aircrew. They contain the applicable technical regulations and administrative procedures for civil aviation flight crews in what EASA describes as "a consolidated, easy-to-read format with advanced navigation features through links and bookmarks." In total, the work amounts to just under 1,900 pages: EASA updates Easy Access Rules for Aircrew.

Cybersecurity in Aviation Community

EASA has set up a community website for professionals involved in aviation cybersecurity. The website provides detailed information on regulations and standards, with a focus on information sharing and collaboration initiatives. Read more in the EASA Community Network.

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators

OPS Group - News from the North Atlantic // OPS Chat

  • As of 1 March, altitudes of FL330 and below will no longer be part of the NAT Organised Track Structure (OTS). The OPS Group describes what this means in Tracking the NAT Track Changes.
  • Every Tuesday at 2000 UTC OPS Group invites you to the OPS Chat with the latest news on flight operations. All you need is a device with a camera and a Zoom account. Find more information here: OPS Chat - Now EVERY week!

Instructor Job in Recreational Flight Simulator in Berlin GmbH operates an Airbus A320 full motion flight simulator for leisure purposes near Berlin airport. is looking for pilots for this simulator, which capabilities, according to the provider, come very close to a full flight level D simulator in terms of its technical equipment and system depth. Further information can be found on our internal job offers website (in German).

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: