Dear Members,

Flight safety is always a priority for us pilots. Nevertheless, flight safety, economic efficiency and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive. Instead, it has become important to think these elements together. The basic precondition for success in terms of sustainability is a common understanding among those involved to not take a one-sided view, but to recognise risks in different areas through diverse perspectives in time. This may also include socio-economic risks.

The design of the EU's Fit for 55 package is a negative example in this sense. A more diverse view would certainly have revealed that it puts European airlines at a considerable competitive disadvantage and thus potentially undermines the interests of employers and workers in Europe alike. We as VC support the criticism of this package by other workers' organisations and employers. We are convinced that corresponding opinions - especially if they bear an obvious justification as they are being addressed towards politics from diverse interest groups - should not be ignored.

Anja Granvogl
Board Member

We as VC want to lead by example and foster a fruitful exchange between diverse stakeholders on different issues, as this is the only way to share views, promote common understanding and illuminate blind spots. One example of this is the podcast Read You 5, which is produced by our Air Traffic Services WG in cooperation with the German air traffic control union GdF. Both sides produce safety on a daily basis, and the exchange and insights into the working world of the other can help both controllers and pilots to do this even more effectively.

Voluntary commitment, the expertise and viewpoint of the working level and a corresponding organisational structure are needed to adequately look into the wide range of topics in the field of flight safety. Only in this way it is possible to effectively represent our expertise and viewpoints in the (professional) public. I am very pleased that in the beginning of April Dr Schaad has joined VC as the new Head of Flight Safety and is now supporting the restructuring of our team. We are incorporating input from #VCNextGen as well as best practices from other associations in order to be well positioned for the challenges of the future. The inclusion of diverse experience and perspectives is not just a phrase for us, but a living culture by conviction.

As VC, we will never become tired of promoting an open exchange of diverse perspectives and an appreciative communication culture in our exchanges with other associations, authorities, politicians and employers. In this spirit we will go forward together in successfully shaping the future of all those involved in the aviation system.

Vereinigung Cockpit criticises planned Design of the EU Fit For 55 Package

Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), together with its European partners, is committed to supporting the goal of making air transport more climate-friendly in the short and medium term and climate-neutral in the long term. For our association, this includes intensive exchange with politicians at national and international level.

In line with European airlines and the airports of the network carriers, VC is clearly critical of the planned design of the EU-ETS and ReFuelEU. The measures in the Fit For 55 package, as currently planned, will lead to a massive distortion of competition to the detriment of the European aviation industry, to the relocation of passenger flows and ultimately to the loss of German and European jobs.

Stefan Herth, President of VC: "If the European Commission continues to weaken the competitiveness of European airlines with its eyes open, this will lead to job losses in the EU. The beneficiaries will be countries like Turkey, Qatar and the Arab Emirates. In the medium and long term, this will lead to a Europe being dependent on foreign suppliers. The energy sector currently shows us the risks of excessive foreign dependence."

VC emphasises that climate protection, e.g. by establishing blending quotas for sustainable fuels, is a global task. The top priority of politicians in Brussels and Berlin must therefore be to ensure that non-European competitors cannot circumvent these rules.

"Climate protection, preservation of jobs and social standards must be thought of together. Without a competition-neutral design of the Fit for 55 package, the EU Commission will lose everything it wants to protect. This is about European jobs at risk of being shifted to airlines from outside the EU. Working conditions in those countries would often be simply illegal within the EU. Added value and tax revenues will be lost here if they those jobs are no longer based in Frankfurt or Munich, but in Istanbul or Abu Dabi instead," Stefan Herth concludes.

New VC Podcast Episode: Police Officers and Pilots

Farid Merdaci, Sabine Schumann, Rudi Heimann, Leila Belaasri

What can police officers and pilots learn from each other? Where are the differences between the respective work in the air and on the ground? Where are the many similarities and points of contact between the two professions? These and many other questions are addressed in the new VC Podcast episode.

Leila Belaasri is joined by Sabine Schumann, deputy federal chairwoman of the German Police Union DPolG, Rudi Heimann, vice-president of the South Hesse police, and VC board member Farid Merdaci.

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

New Episode of "READ YOU 5": TCAS and STCA, the "last lines of defence"

The two traffic conflict detection systems TCAS in aircraft and STCA in air traffic control are often referred to as the "last line of defence". How do these systems work in detail? What happens when they sound the alarm? Can there be false alarms? What are the limitations of the systems and what improvements does the future hold?

In this episode hosted by Michael Kuppe (GdF), Thorsten Raue (GdF) and Moritz B├╝rger (VC) talk about these questions. Please feel free to send us your feedback, suggestions for improvement and topics via

Click here to listen to the "READ YOU 5" Podcast (in German).

EASA publishes new Fuel Requirements

EASA has published a decision to change rules on minimum fuel quantities. They are intended to lower minimum fuel figures to save weight and reduce CO2 emissions. The optimisation will be realized by improved risk assessments, calculations based on better data and optimised decision making. The regulatory package, which consists of Regulation (EU) 2021/1296 and ED Decision 2022/005/R providing the AMC and GM, follows ICAO guidelines. The new principles also apply to aircraft that are fully or partially powered by alternative energy sources, such as electric aircraft.

The new regulation introduces three different fuel schemes: The basic fuel scheme, the fuel scheme with variations and the individual fuel scheme. According to EASA, the transition from current regulations to the basic scheme requires little effort from operators.

The other two schemes are voluntary and require more resources to implement as operators need to improve monitoring capabilities. National authorities will also have to adapt their oversight for these schemes to ensure a consistently high level of safety. The exact reductions that may be permitted for individual operations vary depending on the route and aircraft used.

Further information can be found in a report by the OPS Group and directly at the EASA website.

Eurocontrol expects strong Increase in Air Traffic

According to its latest scenarios, Eurocontrol expects a steady growth in monthly air traffic figures between April and mid-summer this year. In the so-called base scenario, traffic volumes are expected to reach 89 per cent of 2019 levels by August and increase slightly further to 92 per cent by the end of the year.

For 2022 as a whole, Eurocontrol assumes around 9.3 million flights across Europe, which corresponds to 84 per cent of the 2019 traffic volume. This would significantly exceed last year's 6.2 million flights.

Detailed information is available from Eurocontrol.

News from Associations, Organisations and Regulators

OPS Group - Congestions in European Airspace

  • The OPS Group has compiled information on the sharp increase in traffic on the alternate routings circumventing Russia and Ukraine. Due to the good booking situation for the summer and the strong increase in military traffic on NATO's eastern border, even more traffic can be expected in the coming weeks. Germany is also indirectly affected. Due to a lack of ATC capacity in Poland, additional traffic might be routed through the already busy German airspace. Further information: "Traffic Jam in Europe: Airspace Bottlenecks & ATC Disruption"

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