MIAMI – The European Cockpit Association (ECA) is worried about a single-pilot long-haul operation project between Cathay Pacific (CX) and Airbus.

ECA, via a Facebook post dated June 17, relayed by ANPAC the Italian National Association of Civil Aviation Pilots, indicates that “manufacturers are working on the technology to remove pilots from the cockpit, and airlines are supporting them.”

However, the association states that those involved in the project are reluctant to acknowledge they are involved in the experience named ‘Project Connect’ with a target date set for 2025.

Three Concerns

What worries ECA are three main aspects: the first is the rush under which the project is being run, the second is the secrecy surrounding it, and the third is who and what is running it. With a firm statement, ECA takes a definite stand against the project and does not extend support for the idea of “reduced or single-pilot operations in any phase of the flight.”

ECA is also calling for more transparency and for “credible answers” from the entities involved. The association estimates that the attempt to reduce crew in the cockpit has a clear cost-cutting signature directed toward flying “more at zero cost.”

In ECA’s opinion, if economics and innovation take supremacy, history teaches us that this has a negative impact on flight safety.

Featured image: Boeing 737 MAX Cockpit. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways.