Dear Members,

many important meetings were scheduled for our association in the past days, above all the VC General Assembly. In this long meeting we were able to discuss many important topics and take some groundbreaking decisions, more about this below.

The fact that this special General Assembly worked out so well under the currently challenging conditions is owed to the untiring work of everyone involved. Thank you all for your great commitment!

The annual conference of our European umbrella organization ECA was also on the agenda, focusing on how to revive air traffic in accordance with ecological, economic and social sustainability. Maria-Pascaline Murtha was able to address our political demands directly to EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean.

You can also find more current news on our new VC Info website (German) and on our social media channels on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Enjoy the read!

Markus Wahl

Successful first virtual General Meeting

For the first time in the more than 50-year history of VC, we had to use a virtual format for our General Assembly on November 17th. We were able to have a committed and constructive discussion on the many topics that are currently on our agenda and we were able to make many important decisions for the association. The protocol of the resolutions and results will be sent out in the next days.

The very high attendance was particularly pleasing: More than 2400 members registered for the Assembly and about 2000 members actually participated. Due to the great need for debate in the current crisis, the meeting ran for a total of 12 hours and 15 minutes. The majority of the members remained virtually present until the end at 22:15!

Although we had to face some technical challenges, all in all we can look back on a very successful first virtual General Assembly. We will use the experience we have gained now to make the upcoming - probably also virtual – General Assembly even better.

New video series "VC Debrief"

Many of you will already know it: We have started a new video series for members called "VC Debrief" (in German only). With this we aim to provide better and more insightful information and keep you up to date on the most important developments in VC. VC Debrief complements the previous newsletters, which will continue to be sent out.

After the first video shortly before the General Assembly (click here to see it again), the second video, this time on the topic "NextGen", will be available in the members area of our website next week. We will notify you as soon as it is uploaded.

The project NextGen was approved at the General Assembly on November 17th. The aim of the project is to reposition our association in terms of content and structure and to have the Values Commission develop a values compass that will guide us safely on our course even in severe turbulence.

New category "Further Qualification" in the internal area of the VC website

Under the current circumstances many members look for a new occupation. Therefore, we compiled some useful information on advanced qualification (in German only) in the internal area of our website.

On the one hand there is a checklist with questions, which one should ask oneself before beginning to study at a university, in the area "study". On the other hand, you can download an overview of study programs that recognise pilot flight training. In some cases, this can shorten the study time.

In addition, in a second sub-category there are three interesting documents from the British pilots' association BALPA about the compilation of application documents, temporary work and the social network "LinkedIn".

ECA Conference: VC presents demands on European politics

On November 18 and 19, the annual conference of the European Pilot Association ECA took place via online meeting. VC was represented by board member Maria-Pascaline Murtha. Also, VC member Tanja Harter attended in her capacity as ECA Executive Board Director Technical Affairs.

For VC, the focus was on the topics EU Green Deal, international airline competition and anti-dumping. The Green Deal has the full support of the German pilot community. From our perspective, ecological sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability must go hand in hand in order to secure the future of our profession and of aviation as a whole. Transport Commissioner Valean was encouraged to pro-actively promote mobility in Europe and worldwide.

On the other hand, the planned agreement between the EU and Qatar offers strong cause for criticism. We cannot and will not support the idea of opening the doors to a state-subsidized airline in Europe and thus aggravating the already extremely tense situation. The demand of both the VC and the ECA is therefore to freeze the activation of this agreement.

Last but not least, politics must finally demonstrate its ability to act on the issue of dumping prices. Decisive action against this must prevent financial distortions of the market and take the pressure off the workers, because competition must not be at the expense of social achievements for employees or flight safety.

On the occasion of the conference, ECA has also released its annual report which can be downloaded here.

VC Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020 published in English

Our Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020 has been published in English. The German version had been presented in the summer. The concept outlines challenges for aviation safety, identifies weaknesses in the aviation system and presents measures for maintaining and improving aviation safety - from the perspective of those who produce safety on a daily basis at the working level. Please pass it on to English-speaking colleagues and other interested parties.

Survey results EBT Global Review 2020

The Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) has conducted a survey on EBT to which some 600 managers, pilots, instructors and regulators from 65 countries have contributed. The report includes information on global adoption, best practices and pitfalls, benefits and experiences of EBT operators, and insights from three major aviation training providers.

The report can be downloaded from the NLR website (registration required).

Ops Group - Airspace Risk Warning Ethiopia/Eritrea

According to the OPS Group, there is an elevated risk for flight operations in the conflict region Tigray between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The Group has therefore issued an Airspace Risk Warning to its members.

Many of the airways assumed to be "open" are very close to the new conflict zone and many pilots and dispatchers are not aware of the dangers as NOTAMs and other sources may not have the information yet. The conflict has also not yet appeared in the Conflict Zone Information Bulletins of EASA (as of 20 November 2020, 16:00 UTC)

Mental Well-Being und Peer Support

The IFALPA HUPER-Committee highlights the current ICAO Electronic Bulletin 2020/55 on the subject of Mental Well-Being, in which peer support programs are mentioned and explicitly supported. Currently, for example, the constant isolation in hotels during layovers can have an influence on the mental health of crews.

Anonymous and trustworthy help is available around the clock on the VC Support Line:

+49 69 695976 222

IFALPA Position Paper - The Dangers of Reduced Crew Operations

In a new position paper IFALPA analyses the risks of Reduced Crew and Single Pilot Operations. According to the paper, major problems are increased workload for the remaining pilot, the elimination of a critical layer of monitoring and cross-checking and operating redundancy on the flight deck and compromising the safety and security beyond acceptable levels of risk.

The VC Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020 also addresses this topic in chapter 4.1.1.

737 Max cleared to resume commercial service in the USA

The way is paved for the return of the Boeing 737 Max to commercial service in the USA. FAA administrator Dickson signed an order to this effect after completion of the "comprehensive and methodical safety review process", as the FAA states. The authority says to have worked closely with their foreign counterparts on every aspect throughout the entire process.

Further information, detailed PDF's on the applicable regulations and the airworthiness directive can be found on the FAA Website.

© Boeing

News from Associations, Organizations and Regulators


OPS Group

  • "Has Russia stopped playing me-trics on us?" the OPS Group asks. Slowly but surely the internationally more common feet seem to become the standard unit instead of the meter in Russia, too. They discuss the current status of transition altitude, QNH/QFE and hPa/mmHg.

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