If you are going on holiday in the next couple of weeks and you are flying abroad then please do not read this article as it will leave you shocked and wondering if flying to your holiday destination is the best option. According to a new report, nearly half of Europe’s commercial airline pilots have admitted falling asleep while they are in control of an aircraft.
A study carried out by the European Cockpit Association (ECA) asked 6000 pilots if they have ever fallen asleep while in charge of an aircraft, 54 per cent of the pilots admitted that they had fallen asleep while in control of an aircraft and one third of those pilots said when they woke up they found their colleagues asleep.
This study is guaranteed to send shockwaves through the travel industry and make holiday passengers flying abroad worried about their safety. The ECA is also concerned over the survey and is campaigning to make airlines aware of the safety issues that are being caused by pilots flying long hours.
A spokesman from ECA told the Daily Express: “Long duty and standby hours, night flights and disruptive schedules often result in long times awake, sleep deprivation and are followed by insufficient rest and poor sleep opportunities.”
According to a report, 75 per cent pilots who were exhausted have said they would not declare themselves unfit to fly in case they ended up losing their jobs through disciplinary action.
The European Aviation Safety Agency published proposals for new safety rules on flight and duty times and the rest requirement that are needed for pilots. These new rules are upsetting pilots who have been told they could be expected to land commercial airlines after being away for up to 22 hours.
These new rules should not only be a worry for pilots but will also be a worry for passengers who lives could be put in danger with pilots flying for such a huge amount of time.
“Fatigue impairs the judgment and ability of air crews to react quickly – with potentially disastrous consequences, as demonstrated by recent accidents,” said Philip von Schoppenthau, ECA general secretary.