On 5 Feb. 2014, the European Parliament adopted the text reviewing Community Regulation 2027/97 on air carrier liability in respect of the carriage of passengers and their baggage by air. This revised regulation, adopted with an overwhelming majority of 580 votes in favour (41 against, 48 abstentions), includes provisions aimed to facilitate the transport of musical instruments on board planes as hand luggage.
However, the text will only become EU law once it is adopted in the exact same terms by the European Parliament AND the European Council.
Unfortunately, the limited attention that the European Council has paid to this matter so far has only resulted in the proposal to remove article 6e, which is precisely the section that recognises the right of musicians to be treated decently by airline companies.
The problem is that airlines operate vastly differing policies that are generally unfriendly to musicians
The reasoning of the Council is that “It should be left to each air carrier to establish its own policy on the matter”. The problem is that airlines operate vastly differing policies which are generally unfriendly to musicians.
On March 6, 2015, new administrative rules for musical instruments came into effect in the US, as required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (section 403). These rules establish a fair framework, along the very same lines as the article 6e that the European Council wants to delete.
We believe that the European Union should be as fair to musicians as the US on this crucial issue.
To this end, we call for a new and massive mobilization of the global music community, asking the European Council to ensure article 6e of revised regulation 2027/97 remains intact, in the wording adopted by the EU Parliament.
Musicians, wherever they work, deserve a fair treatment when they travel by air with their instruments!