The UK’s pilots’ union is to support Melanoma UK and Melanoma Focus in an effort to support pilots affected by the disease.
The British Airlines Pilot Association (Balpa) has agreed a two-year partnership with the charities
It follows researchers from the University of California finding that airline pilots and flight crew could be at twice the risk of developing melanoma, with flying for an hour at 30,000ft the equivalent UV exposure to 20 minutes on a sun bed.
As part of its Pilots Giving Campaign, the first charitable campaign launched by the association, airline pilots, crew and staff will be invited to take part in a series of fundraising events for the two charities including sports activities and a pilot skydive.
Balpa chair of communications and external relations, Tim Pottage, said: “Pilots are at increased risk of developing melanoma, so a melanoma charity is an obvious choice for the first Balpa Pilots Giving partnership.
“Melanoma Focus and Melanoma UK offer different but equally vital services, and pilots are keen to fundraise for both. Pilots are really looking forward to working closely with them to help fund patient care and research, and raise awareness among colleagues.
“Balpa is pushing for further research into the causes of increased melanoma in pilots and what could potentially be done to reduce this risk. Pilot safety is of vital importance to Balpa and this new charitable venture is just one of the ways we’re working to support members.”
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