Dear Members,

Corona has brought many things to a halt, but not Flight Safety! So, I am very pleased that we have now been able to present our comprehensive Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020 to the public and our colleagues at airlines, regulators and organisations.

Due to the economic difficulties of the airlines and the resulting pressure to cut costs, this concept is more important than ever: we, as those directly affected, must be very careful to ensure that airlines do not exploit the Corona crisis for cutting costs in the wrong areas and thereby undermine flight safety!

In the past months, the involved working groups and the Flight Safety Department have put an enormous amount of work into the creation of this flight safety concept. Experts from all 16 working groups and the three task forces of the VC were involved to cover the complexity of the topic. On behalf of all VC members, I would like to thank everyone involved once again for their excellent work!

Furthermore, this time we have the following topics:

  • IFALPA Return to Flying Checklist
  • Volcanic eruptions and air traffic
  • ICAO Space Weather Advisories
  • VC establishes Easyjet Company Council

You can also find more current news on our social media channels on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Enjoy the read.

Björn Reimer
Board Member Flight Safety
Björn Reimer, Board Member Flight Safety, handed over the Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020 to the Parlamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport, Steffen Bilger.

Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020 published

The VC has published its comprehensive Flight Safety Concept SafeSKY 2020. On 24 July, Björn Reimer, Board Memeber Flight Safety, handed over the 80-page concept to Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport.

The concept outlines important challenges for global flight safety, identifies weaknesses in the aviation system and proposes concrete measures for maintaining and improving air traffic safety. The VC aims to complement existing safety management systems of other stakeholders with its concept and to promote dialogue and cooperation between all parties involved.

In addition to the three primary risk areas "Flights into and over crisis areas", the "Collision risks in VFR flight operations" and "lower airspace", the concept identifies 13 further risk areas, including runway incursions, the reduction of the scope of pilot training and contaminated cabin air.

The English version of the Flight Safety Concept is currently being prepared and will be published in the coming months.

IFALPA Return to Flying Checklist

IFALPA has prepared a Return to Flying Checklist for all those who have not flown in a while. Numerous VC members of the working groups QUAT, ADO and ATS were involved in the creation.

The checklist serves mainly as a reminder for the most important points and should be adapted to the respective situation. It can also be used to supplement existing airline checklists for return to flying.

Volcanic Eruptions and Air Traffic

Volcanic clouds, ash, gases and aerosols can have a significant impact on air traffic. Klaus Sievers - a member of the ATS working group - gives a detailed overview of current regulations and information sources as well as the opportunities for flight safety arising from new technologies in his article Die Bedeutung von Informationen zu Vulkanausbrüchen für den Flugverkehr ("The importance of information on volcanic eruptions for air traffic"). It is available in German only, but it is based on an article that Klaus wrote for IFALPA's InterPilot Magazine 1/2018 in English which you can find here.

With regard to volcanoes, the aim of aviation is to avoid any encounter of aircraft with ash clouds. Cockpit crews should therefore be aware of the possibilities and limitations of the monitoring and reporting system. Klaus Sievers provides insights into which factors can pose which risks during volcanic eruptions, how these can be assessed by pilots and what consequences result for flight operations. The article is supplemented by links to more detailed information sources.

ICAO Space Weather Advisories

In their joint article ICAO Space-WX Advisories – in the Ops-Manual! First thoughts, Klaus Sievers and Ralf Parzinger of VC's Working Group ATS advocate for including Space Weather information into the airlines' Ops Manuals and thus integrate it into everyday flight operations.

For some time past, three Global Space Weather Centers have been providing the relevant information. These Space-WX Advisories address the following issues, among others:

  • loss of communications
  • degraded performance of navigation and surveillance that rely on GNSS
  • issues related to radiation exposure by aircrew and passengers

VC establishes Easyjet Company Council

Easyjet now also has a VC Company Council. In mid-July, the provisional committee was officially appointed by the Executive Board and the Chairman Industrial Relations. Andreas Mennecke (SFO TXL) acts as spokesman of the council, James (Jim) Phillips (Cpt. TXL) as deputy spokesman.

Farewell, Queen of the Skies

A few day ago, Qantas - like several other airlines - retired the Boeing 747 for good. The crew on final flight QF7474 did not turn to their destination Los Angeles directly but painted a giant cangaroo into the sky off the Australian east coast for the various flight tracking sites. Farewell, Queen of the Skies!

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