Safety within professional aviation has vastly improved over the past several decades. This is due in large part to a “Just Safety” culture founded upon open communication and self-disclosure of errors or negative safety trends. This requires active participation from all flight crew to be effective.
Pilots are trained to be careful analysts of their environment, recognizing risks and actively mitigating. For many, their training and differential risk analysis led to concerns and negative conclusions regarding the compatibility of COVID-19 vaccination with health and flight safety. Not only did many pilots disagree with arbitrary requirements embodied in vaccination mandates, but they also saw risks in the unanswered questions and unjustified speed and pressure behind the vaccine rollouts. They lobbied their airlines and politicians, recommending caution and opposing mandates.
Many pilots also sought guidance from civil aviation regulators. These regulators are ultimately responsible for the safe and secure transport of citizens, yet most if not all actively ignored their own safety recommendations against unproven, unapproved drug use by flight crews. Transport Canada, for instance, simply removed this online guidance the week following numerous pointed, written questions on the same.
Once airlines mandated vaccination, many pilots steadfastly refused based on risk and were subsequently put on unpaid leave or outright terminated. Principled professionals were forced out of aviation and the industry lost hundreds of thousands of hours of experience. Now, the global airline industry is heading into a dire staffing crisis. Thousands of other pilots were coerced into vaccination to provide for their families. This has taken a toll on their mental health.
As sobering as all of this is, it merely set the stage for what we are now witnessing: a landscape which should greatly concern airlines and the travelling public. The undersigned pilot advocacy groups, scientists and doctors are hearing daily from vaccine-injured airline pilots. These harms include cardiovascular issues, blood clots, neurological and auditory issues, to name just a few.
Many of our pilots have lost medical certification to fly and may not recover the same. Others are continuing to pilot aircraft while carrying symptoms that should be declared and investigated, creating a human factors hazard of unprecedented breadth. The very foundation of our just safety culture – non-punitive reporting – no longer exists. Pilots have suffered and are suffering medical issues that at least correlate to receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. Their spectrum of symptoms is broad, ranging up to death. Pilots who report their injury face possible loss of licensing, income, and career while receiving little to no support from their unions, and a prosecutorial invective from employing airlines. Many of these airlines believe they indemnified themselves from liability, claiming this in the very same documents that forced “no jab, no job” mandates on their employees.
Evidence of COVID-19 vaccine health risks, clinical trial irregularities and poor practice and insignificant efficacy continues to mount. The Pfizer documents released under FOIA, combined with organizations like the Food and Drug administration (FDA, USA), Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA, UK), Health Canada, and the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) regulatory documentation show essential safety and efficacy information has been withheld from the public, and the scope of regulatory oversight and testing requirements is inadequate.
Worse, there appears to be no evidence of aviation regulators, airlines or unions having performed any of their own due diligence into COVID-19 vaccines and the impact on pilot health or performance. This is at complete odds with existing aviation medical standards. Questions exist around competence and possible negligence.
Failure to address this potential medical watershed will make the airlines and unions complicit in a culture shift that has rocked the aviation mantra of “safety first, always.” The airlines and unions represented have been encouraged to assist and warned of dire repercussions, repeatedly, by many of the signatories below. To date there has been little meaningful action, and in many cases nothing but stone-walling and silence.
There is a saying in aviation, “If there’s doubt, there is no doubt.” There is increasing doubt about COVID-19 vaccinations. There should therefore be no further doubt in aviation. Safety must return to the fore.
While not an exhaustive list, the airlines below have pilots on staff who are vaccine injured, and with whom our pilot advocacy groups are in contact:
- Jetstar Australia
- Qantas Australia
- Virgin Australia Australia
- Air Canada Canada
- Air Transat Canada
- WestJet Canada
- Air France France
- EasyJet France
- HOP France
- Lufthansa Germany
- TUI Netherlands
- KLM Netherlands
- American USA
- Delta USA
- JetBlue USA
- Southwest USA
- United USA
- Frontier USA
- Alaska USA
- Spirit USA
CALL TO ACTION
Civil aviation authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Canada, UK Civil Aviation Authority, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority must begin fulfilling their regulatory obligations. The crisis in pilot health must be publicly addressed by airlines and representing unions to restore flight safety to what we once knew. The undersigned alliance of aviation and medical professionals represent thousands of pilots at over 30 global airlines, along with over 17,000 physicians and medical scientists, worldwide. We call for the following:
- Where it exists, mandated COVID-19 vaccination for aviation workers must be discontinued.
- A permissive environment for self-reporting needs to be reemphasized by regulators and airlines.
- Thorough and objective aviation medical screenings of pilots and cabin crew need to be a high priority. These must be backed by the regulator and should focus on high prevalence harms which are now showing up in the general public and in our flight crews.
- Airlines and regulators hold data about sickness and medical certificate suspension, including symptoms and causal reasons. This data should be analysed by independent third parties to establish or rule out COVID-19 vaccination as a possible cause.