The new Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), if applied correctly, could produce a highly qualified new hire first officer for the airlines. However, applied incorrectly in response to cost or time pressures to respond to the current pilot shortage, it could have a detrimental impact on flight safety. Improper application could also erode current, proven training standards. IFALPA has yet to be convinced that the new MPL scheme will provide sufficient guarantees for safeguarding the highest safety and training quality standards currently in place. Any downgrading of these standards cannot and must not be accepted in an industry that has the goal of maintaining a continuous improvement of safety standards in the face of ever growing challenges.
Only a well-devised MPL scheme that is gradually introduced into common use, coupled with an effective Advisory Board system with a clearly defined charter that assists in implementation of any MPL scheme, will overcome the challenges posed by the new MPL concept. IFALPA will continue to contribute ideas and expertise to assist in obtaining appropriate solutions to any MPL implementation issues, but will only give its support when we are convinced that MPL will assure a greater safety margin for passengers, crew and the general public.
Maximum Licence Age
Recent years have seen a lengthy debate over that maximum age at which an individual may continue to hold a professional pilot licence. This debate has heightened by the recent decision by ICAO to mandate an increase from 60 to 65 years old. The debate really has two sides the Industrial and the Medical. Naturally it is the latter that is a focus for the Human Performance Committee.
Cabin Air Quality
Cabin Air quality issues have been strongly discussed in the past few years. Different stakeholders have a wide variety of opinions and the issues raises concerns amongst our members. It is now clear that fume events may occur, but long term health effects are still under debate. It is important to try to get independent, scientific information on the subject and raise awareness on this issue to our members. IFALPA is following up the scientific research, different reports and doing collaboration on education with ICAO, IATA and ITF (International Transport Federation).
Future Generation Aircraft
The HUPER group is also concerned with the man machine interface in next and future generation as well as the physiological impact of ultra long range operations. In addition, IFALPA is following up the single pilot operation concept.