Cathay Pacific pilots withdrew their legal battle with the Government over flight safety standards yesterday in a deal struck after a judge said it may be better to settle the dispute outside court. Mr Justice Frank Stock also expressed concern that if he ultimately decided to rule in favour of the pilots, on claims that the present procedures reduce their protection from fatigue in the cockpit, all Cathay Pacific flights would have to be grounded. 'The question I am raising is what is the real point of this exercise and whether there is not some other more sensible way of its resolution,' the judge said. Mr Justice Stock told the pilots' barrister: 'My immediate reaction is that you are asking me to say that Cathay Pacific are acting under a scheme which is unlawfully made. That is quite a big thing to say. 'This court is unlikely to stop Cathay Pacific from flying.' Several hours of intense negotiations followed at the Court of First Instance, leading to an agreement that the case would be halted and a review of procedures relating to pilots' duty hours and their rest time conducted. Philip Dykes SC, for the Aircrew Officers' Association, told the judge the pilots had gone to court 'because they thought that as a matter of public law there had been a wrong committed'. They had been surprised that a review of the disputed scheme by the Director of Civil Aviation and a working party had been suspended because of the legal action, Mr Dykes said. But this was now all in the past. 'The issues which have caused concern to the applicants [the pilots] can be resolved, they hope, in that particular forum,' he added. Mr Dykes said the Director of Civil Aviation had given an assurance that the review of special provisions laid down by the Government in August last year, and of the Cathay Pacific scheme, would resume immediately. Attention will be paid by the director to a requirement for the pilots to be consulted. Wesley Wong, for the director, said this was 'the last chapter' in the legal action. Adrian Huggins SC, for Cathay Pacific, said: 'We are delighted that Your Lordship's words this morning have brought about the withdrawal of this application.' After the hearing, John Findlay, general secretary of the Aircrew Officers' Association, said: 'We are pleased the matter has been resolved and we agree with the Civil Aviation Department that the way ahead now is to continue to discuss and resolve these matters in the Flight Time Limitations Working Group.'