Dear colleagues,

Workplace co-determination is now 102 years old. On February 4, 1920, the first German Works Council Act came into force after tough struggles by labor. This basis of today's co-determination survived until 1934 and was rebuilt in November 1952 by the Works Constitution Act. An amendment in 1972 revised the law on numerous points, but continued to exclude flying personnel from the scope of the Works Constitution Act because of the special, non-local nature of our activities. Thus, it would be another 47 years before co-determination for flying personnel was enshrined in law, until the key amendment for flying personnel was added to Section 117 of the Works Constitution Act in May 2019. Although this amendment requires the clarification of further legal issues, for example with regard to the concept of operation and its application, it was thus finally possible to put an end to this flawed special position in the area of collective labor law in aviation.

Matthias Baier
Board Member

Although co-determination based on collective bargaining agreements already existed in certain airline companies, it requires tireless voluntary and full-time work in committees, in lobbying and also among the workforce, just like co-determination enshrined in law. Where the corporate side is not prepared to accept co-determination by collective agreement, it must be fought for with commitment and perseverance.

Where co-determination exists at the workplace and under collective bargaining agreements, the employer cannot rule decisively in favor of the employees, regardless of resistance. Co-determination at the workplace and under collective bargaining agreements is therefore a question of power that is constantly put to the test. Limitations, reservations and even active restrictions and, in some cases, even the fight against co-determination by employers are the result.

Added to this are the challenges of an economically harmonized European Union, which is susceptible to social dumping due to differing social standards and, as a consequence, susceptible to an undermining of co-determination. This, too, then readily entails the further demands on the employer side that co-determination must become cheaper, faster and less bureaucratic compared to other EU member states.

Despite the long road to date, the challenges of co-determination are high and will remain so in the future. Every idea, every contribution, every critical question, every involvement in the VC serves to maintain and further develop this collective representation of interests, which enables pilots to participate on an equal footing in the operations that affect them. And that is what the VC is all about in the end: as a community of pilots with the democratic design principle of the social market economy, operational and collective bargaining co-determination, to persevere through conflicts and negotiations and to work out viable solutions for our profession.

Time for an update - New mission statement to become part of the bylaws

Time for an update - New mission statement to become part of the bylaws

Dear colleagues,

it is time for an update! An update for the self-image of our association, for the cooperation among pilots and thus also for our public perception. The conditions for our very special profession have changed in many ways. Partly as a result of external factors, which often affect aviation as a whole, but in many respects also quite deliberately as a result of decisions and measures consciously taken by our employers. These changing conditions call for contemporary responses.

We find many of these answers in the results of the work of our Values Commission, which last year presented its proposal for a new mission statement for VC. It comprises a total of 9 points, which you can read in full here.

This mission statement is a real milestone for our association, which was founded over 50 years ago under the motto "By pilots, for pilots". In the future, it will serve as a common compass that provides orientation for all of us. At the upcoming general meeting on May 5, we would now like to include this mission statement as a constituent part of our bylaws.

We as the board would like to solicit broad support for this fundamental project.

In the detailed article on the VC Info website (in German only), we would like to take a closer look at a few key aspects in order to demonstrate the importance of the mission statement as the basis for our work as a professional association:

Time for an Update - The New Mission Statement of the Cockpit Association

VC awards Dr. Werner Joost Prize to Prof. Dr. Gerhard Faber (posthumously)

Lars Frontini, Meike Faber, Raimund F. Neuhold (v.l.n.r)

In recognition of his outstanding services to civil aviation and the piloting profession, VC has awarded the Dr. Werner Joost Prize to Prof. Dr. Gerhard Faber. As Prof. Faber unfortunately passed away unexpectedly in November last year (for obituary see below), the award was handed over posthumously to his daughter Meike Faber.

Due to the pandemic, the award ceremony took place in a small setting at the VC headquarters in Berlin. In addition to Meike Faber, Capt. Raimund F. Neuhold, who worked closely and for a long time with Prof. Faber in his function as board member (and current chairman) of the Research Network for Transport Pilot Training (FHP), VC board member Lars Frontini, who presented the Dr. Werner Joost Award on behalf of the entire board, and the head of the VC Berlin office, Bastian Roet, were also present.

Prof. Faber leaves behind the certainty that his work has not only had an impact in an academic context, but has also brought about very concrete improvements for commercial pilots in Germany. It is thanks to the opportunities for professionalization and academization of training initiated by him and the research network for commercial pilot training that today's steps to classify the pilot profession in the German Qualification Framework have become possible in the first place.

He deserves our thanks and deep appreciation for his services to our profession, which are reflected in the award of the Dr. Werner Joost Prize.

"My father practically had wings himself" - Meike Faber.

What remains in memory of Prof. Faber, in addition to his always helpful, uncomplicated and modest manner, which came together with a strong sense of responsibility, is above all his profound enthusiasm for flying in all its facets. As Meike Faber reported, her father was often drawn to the local airfields even on family vacations in foreign countries, pictures relating to flying hung in his study, and ultimately her father practically had wings himself, as she says.

Obituary: Professor Gerhard Faber

Professor Dr. Gerhard Faber died of sudden heart failure on Nov. 24, 2021, at the age of 82. We join the bereaved family in mourning the loss of a long-time friend and colleague.

The obituary of Prof. Faber by former VC board member and press officer Bernd Kopf can be found on the VC Info website:

Obituary: Professor Gerhard Faber - The spiritual father of ILST studies passed away unexpectedly.

VC President: Works council elections more important than ever!

VC President Stefan Herth with Claus Weselsky, Federal Chairman of the GDL.

Works councils are traditionally elected in March. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the German Locomotive Drivers' Union (GDL), VC President Stefan Herth emphasized the relevance of these bodies during his welcoming speech at the GDL kick-off event for the 2022 works council elections in Dresden. In his speech, he emphasized the dual importance of works councils and staff representatives for employees on the one hand and the social market economy on the other. Works council elections and advocacy for common interests are more important than ever, Herth said.

The opening event of the locomotive drivers, which lasted more than 4 hours, was very emotional and served as a motivational boost and a joint swearing-in for the upcoming works council elections. A total of around 500 GDL volunteers had come to the event in their spare time. In addition to the contributions of the GDL representatives, the program also included several greetings by guests from other trade unions (including Marburger Bund and dbb), a motivational speech by Olympic champion Kristina Vogel, who is paraplegic after an accident, and a specially composed GDL song by the rockabilly band Boppin'B. The finale was a very combative speech by GDL boss Claus Weselsky.

Current information on the situation in Ukraine and the surrounding airspace

Information on the situation in Ukraine and the surrounding airspace is published by various organizations. On the situation of Ukrainian colleagues and possibilities for assistance:

On the airspace situation around Ukraine:

Viewed from a distance: The "Reduced Runway Separation" process

© Arseniy Shemyakin Photo / Shutterstock

Reduced Runway Separation - some of you will have heard of it before, but very few of you have probably experienced it consciously. In times of increasing traffic, Reduced Runway Separation is an efficient tool to handle more aircraft movements. In this process, runway separation for jets can be reduced to 2400m. This means that an approaching aircraft must have at least this distance to the previously landed or taken-off aircraft when crossing the runway threshold.

In addition to certain weather minima, ICAO and EASA also prescribe traffic information for the trailing aircraft. Since there is no standard phraseology (yet), this can be quite general. It is important that you actively ask ATC if there are any uncertainties. In Germany you may encounter this procedure in deviation to ICAO and EASA also at night.

On the VC Info website you will find a detailed article on this topic with some case studies: Mit Abstand betrachtet: Das Verfahren „Reduced Runway Separation“ (in German only)

New Podcast Episode: The Diversity and Social Working Group

Bernd Römmelt, Nina Moers, Leila Belaasri (left to right)

Until the 1980s, cockpits were mostly a male-only domain and quite patriarchally run. Today, thankfully, our lives and work environments have become much more colorful and diverse. Crew members of different genders, with different backgrounds and with different sexual orientations are the order of the day. Our Diversity and Social WG (WG DAS), among others, has helped "fight for" and accompany the long road to this point.

In the new episode of the VC Podcast, Nina Moers and Bernd Römmelt present the diverse work of AG DAS. This includes topics such as the care of relatives, mental well-being, border-respecting interaction with each other, the compatibility of work and family and much more. For more information, reach AG DAS at

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

New episode "READ YOU 5" - The pitfalls of talking on the radio

Is the "decimal" really that important when reading back frequencies, when do you omit zeros from frequencies, at what point do clearances become too long to be implemented reasonably, why shouldn't you talk too fast? These and many other questions about the pitfalls of voice radio are answered in the new episode of the "READ YOU 5" podcast. Thorsten Raue from the air traffic control union (GdF) represents the perspective of the controllers, Moritz Bürger from our Air Traffic Services Working Group the perspective of the pilots.

You can listen to the "READ YOU 5" podcast here (in German only).

Sahara dust - once again over Germany

From 15 to 18 March 2022, there were considerable amounts of Sahara dust in the airspace over Germany - on the days before, it had already moved over Spain, Portugal and France. There was no acute danger to aviation, but the dust quantities increased the need for engine maintenance.

Desert dust has a different composition than volcanic ash, but it too is capable of abrading, sticking or clogging engine parts, which can cause problems for the cooling systems of the turbine blades and other consequences in the event of greater exposure.

To measure the dust content, the DWD commissioned a research flight, which was carried out by Prof. Weber's team from Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences. According to a DWD press release, up to 2.2 mg/cbm of dust was found over southern Bavaria on March 17. If it were volcanic ash, this quantity would correspond to the level "medium concentration". It is to be classified as already considerable.

The VC also participated in the investigation: Klaus Sievers from the Air Traffic Services Working Group / Wetter worked together with Prof. Weber, prepared information from various internet sources and obtained dust samples (see picture), which are now being analyzed.

News from associations, organizations and authorities


  • Closely spaced waypoints with similar names can pose a risk for navigation errors. IFALPA has issued a safety bulletin on this topic: Identifying Waypoints

Award for VC: Flight Safety Foundation Member 40+ Years

The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has honored Vereinigung Cockpit for 40 years of membership with the Flight Safety Foundation Member 40+ Years badge. As a member of the FSF, we are part of an influential aviation community that speaks with a strong, united voice for global aviation safety.

Karolinska study on working conditions and safety behavior in the cockpit

As reported in previous Waypoints, the Swedish Karolinska Institute is currently conducting the Europe-wide study "Ramp-up up in the air: Repairing or impairing pilots' working conditions & safety". The study aims to investigate the impact of new business models and corresponding working conditions on the health, fatigue and flight safety of flight crews. One focus is on the problems associated with "atypical employment" and its safety implications.

From ECA's and VC's point of view, this study is a very important opportunity to gather much needed scientific data to support our arguments at national and EU level about the link between safety and social issues. Therefore, we support the study and call for quick participation, as the study only runs until the beginning of April. We need your support!

Click here to go to the study.

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