Croatia Airlines pilots unhappy with new regulationsPilots at Croatia Airlines are complaining that since the decision to reduce the minimal rest period for its cabin crew, introduced by the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency, some of its staff have reported difficulties while on duty, as a result of fatigue. The announcement came from the Union of Croatian Pilots, a month after the controversial rules were introduced. The union claims that the measures were established as a way of cutting down on costs at the national carrier. “We still believe that a human life has no price and that any cost cutting shouldn’t be introduced at the expense of passengers, pilots, cabin crew and all of those on the ground that could be affected by a fatal accident”, the union says, calling on the government to intervene. The union has received support from the Croatia Airlines Pilots Association as well as the European Pilots Association.
The Croatian Civil Aviation Agency was quick to respond saying it had not received any incident reports or problems associated with fatigue. The Agency added that it will review its decision if and when any incidents occur and only if proven they were brought on by sleep deprivation. Upon the introduction of the new regulations, the Agency said, “Croatia Airlines now has equal, not greater liberties in term of flight duties compared to foreign airlines operating to Croatia, which is one of the basic prerequisites for equal competition“.
Pilots have launched court action against the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency. Fatigue has been blamed in numerous aviation accidents over the years. Pilot fatigue contributes to 20% of fatal aviation accidents caused by human error. The Union of Croatian Pilots says three fatigue related problems were reported on Croatia Airlines flights recently although none posed risk to passenger safety.