Geographically the largest of IFALPA’s regions, the Asia Pacific Region, covers 175 degrees of longitude and a full 180 degs of latitude. Likewise the region has seen in recent years the world’s strongest traffic growth. As a result of this economic surge there has been the challenge to maintain and enhance safety standards. A challenge that has taken on by the region’s Pilot Volunteers. In the last few years the pilots of the region have worked with airlines, airports and regulators to ensure that the introduction of such developments as 300 minute ETOPS (on trans-Pacific routes), Ultra long haul operations and RVSM have been introduced with safety issues in mind.
The hallmark of this work was the Federation’s role in the introduction of Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) to Chinese airspace. The challenge here was the integration of an RVSM airspace based on Metric altimetry with imperial altimetry RVSM airspace, imperial non-RVSM airspace and Metric non-RVSM airspace without any erosion in separation. IFALPA volunteers were central to this work; the Federation’s Briefing Leaflet is widely regarded as a vital tool for pilots operating to/from and within Chinese airspace. Furthermore, as a result of this work the Federation was asked by the CAAC to help develop briefing notes for pilots operating to and from Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games.
Likewise thanks to the work of Pilot Volunteers in Thailand when the recent political unrest in Bangkok subsided the airport authorities asked pilots from Thai PA to carry out a safety audit of the airport’s runway, taxiways and aprons before re-starting operations.