Media release on behalf of Irish Airline Pilots Association by IMPACT trade union

Preliminary accident report on Cork air crash


To: News editors, aviation publications

IALPA says preliminary accident report on Cork air crash raises questions about European aviation regulation

The Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) has said that the preliminary report into last month’s fatal air crash at Cork Airport, published today by the Air Accident Investigation Unit, raises very serious questions about the regulatory environment in European aviation.

Captain Evan Cullen, President of IALPA, said, “This is a difficult day for the relatives and friends of those who died in the accident, and we need to acknowledge that first and foremost. Air accident investigations play a vital role in maintaining the safety of air travel, and this is only the first part of the process that will allow us a full insight into what happened.

“The preliminary report raises a number of questions about the circumstances of this accident. It suggests that the pilots on board the aircraft had relatively limited training and limited experience, and it is possible that both of these factors were contributory factors in the crash.

“However, rather than seeking to apportion blame, I do think we need to question why the training and experience of the flight crew was limited in these circumstances.

“We also need to ask what regulatory changes are necessary to avoid a similar accident from happening. For example, what changes need to be made to regulations governing the selection and training of flight crews?

“There is a very serious disconnect in the regulatory framework that permits a loose relationship between a so-called virtual airline that takes passengers money, the company that supplies the aircraft and the company that operates the aircraft. A regulatory environment that permits such fragile connections between these different operations is unsustainable.

“There is a responsibility on everyone working throughout the European aviation industry to consider these questions carefully, in order to ensure that an accident like this can never happen again. Some comfort can be taken from the fact that these investigations often result in findings that make air travel safer” he said.

Further information please contact: Captain Evan Cullen, President IALPA – 086 389 0537

Notes for Editor

  • IALPA (founded 1946) represents approximately 1,200 professional pilots primarily based in Ireland or employed by Irish registered companies.
  • IALPA represents its members in the many broad and diverse facets of international aviation including professional standards and pilot welfare. IALPA is also a branch of the IMPACT trade union, which represents pilots on industrial relations issues.
  • IALPA’s Safety and Technical Committee monitors and acts on technical matters both at local and international level which could affect pilots in the safe execution of their professional duties.
  • IALPA is one of the founding members of the International Federation of Air Line Pilot Associations (IFALPA) which holds one of only two non-governmental seats on the United Nations aviation body ICAO. IFALPA have 110 member associations and is recognised as the global voice of pilots.
  • IALPA is also a founding member of the European Cockpit Association (ECA) which represents professional pilots in Europe through the European social dialogue.