Aircrafts and drones will fly safer in the future, says S&D MEP Gabriele Preuss

Drone flying near airplane in sunset

After almost two years of negotiations, the European Parliament today will vote on a new European Aviation Safety Agency Basic Regulation (EASA Regulation). S&Ds insisted on the need to improve workers’ rights in the sector and also to establish clearer rules for the flying of drones.

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament introduced amendments to fight exploitative employment models in low-cost airlines, where pilots and cabin crew are under pressure and thus could be limited in their authority to take safety relevant decisions.

MEP Gabriele Preuss, who lead the negotiations with the EU Council on behalf of the S&D Group, said:

“Today is a good day for the safety of passengers and employees in European aviation. The greatest success for my group is that we included the link between poor working conditions and flight safety: The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is now able to monitor and sanction precarious working conditions if they endanger flight safety.

“Another important achievement is the maintenance of strict rules for the hire of aircraft and crew, known as ‘wet-lease’. The airline lobby had tried to soften the rules for hiring aircraft and crew, in order to make it easier to use cheaper third-country workers in the EU in the future. We were able to prevent this.

“Drones will also fly safer from now on. The Parliament has insisted that there is a need for clear rules for the registration of drone operators. In this point, we won over the so-called flexible and industry-friendly approach of the EU Commission and member states.

“Drones represent excellent opportunities, but also unpredictable risks. We cannot have them flying around without any registration. We ensured that each dangerous drone would be assigned to an operator in the future. By that, we can fully exploit the potential of drones while protecting security, privacy and the environment.”