In conjunction with representatives from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) my officials have met with members of the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (IALPA) regarding the the draft Opinion published by the European Aviation Safety Agency proposing new Flight Time Limitations (FTL) rules on a number of occasions over the past number of months. I would like to point out that the IAA is designated under national law as the competent authority in the State for the purposes of the EU European Aviation Safety Agency Regulations.
The proposed FTL rules have been prepared by the European Aviation Safety Agency over a period of 3 years with unprecedented scientific input and public consultation. More than 50 scientific studies were analysed and a huge number of stakeholder groups including flight and cabin crew organisations, airlines, and Member State representatives were consulted by the Agency during the drafting process. Clearly IALPA had the opportunity during this 3 year consultation period to input their views.The proposed rules contain more than 30 safety improvements compared to current requirements. While there are elements of the proposed rules that have not been universally well received, the general view among Member States is that the proposal, when viewed as a complete package, represents an improvement on the existing European rules in this area. The IAA, who represent Ireland's interests in the relevant EU experts committee, also share this view and have explained their position on this issue to IALPA and also to the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications.