The IPA does not usually comment on articles in the media. However, the BBC has today published an aviation article that is misleading from start to finish ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55313504) . Even the headline ‘Covid 19 : Safety concerns over planes returning to service’ does not accurately describe the content. Its bias poses further damage to the UK aviation sector which is already decimated by the global pandemic and which has received no specific tailored support from central government despite numerous calls for help from some politicians and those within the industry. The emphasis of the piece is on what could go wrong, and fails to mention the highly trained and skilled flight crew and engineers who we know are desperate to return to their work and who have no desire for anything to go wrong. There is no mention of the ever improving safety records of commercial air transport. There is only one sentence, buried in the middle of the article that points towards how ‘safety concerns’ might be addressed, when it is stated ‘However… the airlines are aware of the issue and in many cases have booked extra time for their pilots in simulators’. Articles such as this are, in our opinion merely scaremongering, and are damaging to the profession the IPA represents, and all those involved in ensuring a safe operation for passengers around the world. But perhaps most of all this piece is most damaging to the public perception of this industry. For a number of years this industry has, in the main, received negative press over a number of issues, affecting the public’s confidence in booking with a particular airline, or even flying at all. We simply cannot allow such poor reporting to go unchallenged, given we are seeing first hand through our members the impact of the pandemic on the UK aviation industry, and will continue to do so for some significant time.
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