Worrying new secrecy rules surrounding air safety incidents have come under fire from local MEP Jonathan Arnott.
The EU has brought in a regulation which means that accounts of aircraft safety incidents, known as Mandatory Occurrence Reports, (MOR) are no longer publicly released.
Details of the MORs have been available to the media from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) but the EU regulation now bans the information being publicly accessible.
“The open practice of MORS has helped ensure safety for passengers and gives them confidence when flying and this new unnecessary ruling runs counter to transparency principles,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP North East MEP.
“I believe the public should still have the right to know about such incidents but the ban also covers Freedom of Information requests. The European Union is enthusiastic about ‘freedom of movement’ but not so keen on other personal freedoms.
“The media in this country play an absolutely vital role in society and under the previous system members of the press were freely able to access information about safety breaches, such as the terrifying phenomenon of idiots shining laser pens at plane cockpits.
“Now we will be kept in the dark about potentially dangerous incidents which is plainly wrong. Such behaviour endangers the lives of those on board as well as those living near busy airports, such as Newcastle. When there are safety incidents the public should still have the right to know.
“It is the EU’s relentless drive for total power and control that lies behind the myriad regulations and directives emanating from Brussels and we must vote to leave and be in charge of our own destiny,” said Mr Arnott.