Meet the Crew
We are a group of aviation workers campaigning for long-term employment. We do this by challenging industry leaders to conform with climate science and reject dangerous growth. As pilots, cabin crew, airport staff, aerospace engineers, factory workers and more, we have a unique insight of industry functions; what we see goes against our ethos of putting safety first and deeply worries us.
As a former Senior First Officer for Thomas Cook, Todd was inspired to learn to fly by his father, a builder, who told him to “always do a job he’d enjoy”, he set his goal on becoming a pilot at the tender age of five.
Sourcing the enormous amount of money to pay for flight training, off the back of the 2008 recession, was by far his biggest challenge. Whilst operating the Airbus 321 in 2017, Todd had his medical revoked and was later diagnosed with Lyme Disease, an illness which has become much more prevalent in the UK due to milder winters and warmer summers. Whilst medically grounded, Todd transitioned to a plant-based diet, witnessed the impacts of climate change and mass tourism first hand, saw the rise of Environmental Activism globally, and felt compelled to understand the science. This then led to him having feelings of guilt, shame and betrayal regarding his career choice and the lack of proportionate action from industry leaders, with the global COVID-19 pandemic being the ‘final straw’. Although Todd recovered from Lyme Disease, he decided he could not return to flying passenger jets whilst the industry was going in the wrong direction and felt determined to join the climate movement, and raise the voice of workers in carbon heavy sectors like aviation, that are facing multiple crises and often fall victim to corporate greed and a culture of uncare.
Finlay is a Scottish Mechanical Engineer with extensive aerospace experience: designing future engine concepts at Rolls-Royce for various Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
He formed an Employee Sustainability Group to challenge the corporate sustainability strategy within Rolls-Royce and to advocate that the company planned for a low-emissions future. In mid-2020 he quit his job to focus on climate action, and now campaigns for a rapid worker-led transition of the aviation sector. He has a social media channel called Green Sky Thinking, and is passionate about deconstructing complex climate topics to make them accessible to a wider audience.
George is a current A320 pilot for a short haul airline in the UK. Outside of aviation he is a committed environmental, animal rights, racial justice and social justice campaigner and activist. George had always cared about climate change on a basic level having studied environmental science at university. However, it was only when the pandemic hit that the true impacts of aviation on the climate and ecological crisis and the fatal flaws in solutions proposed by the industry became apparent.
“It is easy to feel like you are alone in caring deeply for nature and the climate crisis in the aviation industry. It can feel pretty despairing to see the industry not playing it’s part in immediate decarbonisation and instead doubling down on greenwash. To me it feels like we are being betrayed by the industry we love. I love flying and I love that aviation has allowed us to see parts of this beautiful planet and cultures we would never have been exposed to otherwise, but I am so scared that it is our industry that is causing a large part of the destruction of this fragile planet.”
George is passionate about fighting for workers’ and climate justice in a fair transition to decarbonising aviation, but also about making sure that frequent flyers and airlines bare the brunt of the cost of this transition:
Njigina is a former flight attendant with over 10 years working for airlines both in the UAE and the UK. She is from Kenya and enjoyed the ability to not only travel the world but also visit her family in Kenya as often as she could as a result of her career in the airline industry.
Unfortunately years of experience working in this industry opened her eyes to the increasing overall level of pollution it emits as a whole. As an African, she understood the indirect relation between the airline industry’s enormous carbon footprint and the climate disasters affecting Africans right now, from the climate driven famine in Southern Madagascar for the past five years, to the locust infestation in Kenya in 2020 that was the worst case in 70 years, a tragedy that decimated crops, displaced and destroyed livelihoods of her people, just to name a few.
This realisation negatively affected her as she battled with the choice between leaving a career she had grown to love that gave her the opportunity to see her family in Kenya or continue to be complicit with the destruction of our earth in order to enjoy the privilege of air travel.
Njigina’s passion for the environment and her understanding of the climate catastrophes happening in her homeland led her to searching for other like-minded individuals in the airline industry and this is how she found Safe Landing. Safe landing has given her an opportunity to be a part of a group of people who believe that change is possible in the airline industry towards a more sustainable way of travel.
For Njigina, Safe Landing has been a place of support especially with eco-anxiety, a struggle that affects many in the airline industry. As the climate emergency and its disasters increase and airline crew continue to travel to places that are overcoming war, drought and pandemics they witness first hand what these people are undergoing and this has detrimental effects to their mental health. Safe Landing is a place where they can get non-judgemental support from peers who understand and have experienced their fears.
Njigina is now more grounded and working towards giving back to her community. She now works with young people as a mentor in the hopes of helping build a more resilient, inclusive, diverse society filled with love and respect for our planet and one another. She is also studying to be a qualified counsellor for young people in the future.
Dan is a former airline pilot and in 2020 chose to stop flying altogether due to his concern for the position of the sector with regards to the climate emergency.
His decision came 10 years into what was expected to be a 40 year career and was certainly not due to a lack of passion for aviation. Dan is the third generation of pilots in his family and has wanted to fly since his earliest memories. Like so many, he worked hard, at great financial expense to qualify and overcame various setbacks before securing what he imagined would be a dream job.
Despite all of this, as a father now, Dan could no longer face the conflict between his love of flying and his deep wish for the future habitability of the planet that we (and so many other species) call home. When he managed to tackle the barriers of cognitive bias and dissonance, Dan was able to join the dots and it was very clear that the only way to live in accordance with his values was to take meaningful action and compassionately try to help others to join the dots for themselves.
Dan is proud to be a member of Safe Landing and passionately believes that we require systemic change within the industry for a truly sustainable future, both for the habitability of our planet and for the livelihoods of workers.
Siân originally trained as an En-route Air Traffic Controller, then spent a few years working in Flight Data Monitoring, before going back to Air Traffic Management to work on a large European ATM Research project, where she has over 10 years of experience.
It is her aim to be an advocate within the industry for sustainable practices to reduce emissions and environmental impact. Siân is passionate about caring for the environment and in her spare time is a Climate Justice campaigner and jointly leads her local Eco Church group.
She believes that aviation’s current trajectory is not sustainable, and immediate change is needed, starting with increased regulation in support of genuine reduction of the industry’s climate impact.
“Those that have done the least to cause the climate crisis are the people who are already suffering its effects the most.”
“I don’t want to stand by as the industry says positive things about future technological solutions which are as yet unproven, and still decades away from full deployment, whilst actively increasing emissions with more and more flights.”
Jeff Joslin recently retired from a major US Airline. Jeff was a Captain who flew internationally for most of his 34 years in the cockpit. He also served in positions specializing in communications, teamwork and conflict resolution for both his company and the Airline Pilots Association.
Jeff first became worried about climate after attending a 350.org “Do the Math Tour” in 2012. Not wanting to believe the science and predictions he heard, Jeff spent the next year researching climate while becoming increasingly concerned. Fortunately he found deep ecologist and Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy’s book, “Active Hope” which helped lead Jeff out of despair and into action where he’s been working ever since.
“There are several things I really appreciate about Safe Landing. Aviation is a really difficult industry to de-carbonize. That alone means employees can be resistant to climate solutions, fearing the impact on their industry. Safe Landing thinks it’s important that employees have factual information about climate and the impact on the airline industry. They also deserve transparency from their employer and participation in how it addresses climate. If the actions affect the workforce, employees should know about and have some input on those actions.”
As an airline bankruptcy survivor, Jeff believes it’s critical that employees have a voice in their future. Safe Landing is an organisation that advocates for vital employee participation in a climate-imperilled aviation industry transformation.
Future engine designer at Rolls-Royce actively encouraging colleagues of all levels of seniority to be vocal and challenge bad decisions and the environmentally flawed logic used to justify them. He’s the current head of the Employee Sustainability Group, first founded by Finlay Asher. The most important message spread, which must cut through all the bluff and greenwash, is the issue of obliviously optimistic aviation industry growth forecasts. Safe Landing is focussed on this issue and its repercussions on workers, unless something is done to make a drastic change in direction.
Andy is a current airline pilot with a UK operator. He has flown a variety of Airbus and Boeing types all over the world for the last 20 years. Over the last 5 years he has become increasingly aware of the climate crisis and gained a deeper understanding of the evidence, and of the consequences of our current path.
“As an industry we need to find a way to close the gap between what we are saying on climate, and what we are actually doing. I feel a deep sense of incongruence when I go to work, knowing the consequences of our current emissions trajectory and the lack of real action that is being taken. It’s why the demands of Safe Landing are so important to me. We have to be honest about our impact, realistic about technology, transparent about necessary regulation, and have a plan that supports workers.
For me, Safe Landing offers a safe space to explore where we might be heading as an industry, with colleagues who understand both the need to act, and the sense of vulnerability that speaking about climate impacts in our industry can generate.”
Alan, First Officer, Hong Kong
“As someone who cares deeply about the health of our planet but who is also passionate about aviation, it’s difficult not to feel like a hypocrite. Safe Landing has allowed me to connect with other aviation workers who feel the same and who want to drive real change within the industry to lead it towards a sustainable path.”
Molly is a passionate environmental campaigner and a member of Safe Landing because of the essential role it plays in transitioning the aviation industry through a worker-led just transition towards a regenerative culture which secures jobs.
Molly is reading for an MSc in Environmental Governance at the University of Oxford while working for Safe Landing as Press and Communications Campaigner. She works to ensure all aviation workers have a support network within Safe Landing and so we can all work collaboratively to secure a long-term plan for the industry.
We demand that the question of job security, not maximising short-term profits at all costs, be put front-and-centre of any discussion on the expansion of the aviation sector. We want an industry that is sustainable in the long-term, not one still being propped up on false assumptions. These assumptions are likely to fail us again and lead to a fresh round of redundancies later this decade. We need a just approach that puts workers’ first during the necessary transformation of the industry.
We love the aviation industry and the positive impacts it brings to various societies. Most of us still fly or work in aviation but others were forced to leave due to moral dissonance and eco-anxiety. We want to change the industry so that all of us can go back and reclaim pride in our work. For this, we need an industry that is honest about the science and conforms with it.
We invite our colleagues from the industry to join the discussion. We don’t claim to have all the answers but we want to create a space where we can reach answers together – a space of collaborative learning, support for each other, where science is respected rather than tweaked or hushed and where more innovative policy ideas (e.g. Frequent Flyer Levy) can be heard. We want to assume agency for our very own future while having the global impact of preserving the Earth for ourselves and future generations. Together we can steer the aviation industry towards a Safe Landing.