ETF Statement on Single-Pilot Operations

3 Dec 2019


During an ETF official conference two weeks ago, our pilots’ representatives learned that the aviation industry is pushing for single-pilot operations to be technologically feasible from mid-2020’s.

The ETF expresses its great concern on this evolution of the air transport sector and alert the civil aviation industry, the European Institutions and the Member States about it.

Such a move being led solely by the aerospace industry (and often advertised by one operator in particular) will have implications on the entire sector and on all civil aviation workers.

We wish to point out the detrimental impact on crews and the entire aviation world industry regarding notably: safety, security, social and economic factors.

Removing a pilot from a plane is removing a SAFETY-critical role, the industry was in agreement that a safety-critical role cannot be removed, (example: the Germanwings accident).

In this context, the aviation authorities should not succumb to the pressure of the aerospace industry to accelerate regulatory processes as they have urged for this issue.


The ETF is ready to input, with all the expertise owned, into this topic notably from the SAFETY side and considers that this discussion cannot take place without the people directly concerned.

ETF will, therefore, remain extremely vigilant on this topic and its possible disruptive consequences for workers and passengers.

ETF will not allow this to be treated without a holistic approach.

ETF will follow relentlessly this issue inside the European Social Dialogue and all instances such as EASA and through ITF to ICAO.