Pilots Association Says Further Delay Risks Safety
ALPA, submitted supplemental comments Thursday to the FAA urging
the regulator to dismiss groundless stall tactics by some in
industry and issue the flight- and duty-time regulations and
minimum rest requirements for airline pilots that are urgently
needed to ensure the safety of air transportation.
“Over the past two years, the FAA, the airlines, and
airline employees have joined together in a tremendous effort to
develop flight- and duty-time regulations and minimum rest
requirements for airline pilots that are based on sound
science,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.
“No justification exists for delaying the result of this
unprecedented collaboration when new rules are needed now to
safeguard passengers, crews, and cargo.”
In its supplemental comments, ALPA cited the federal law that
mandates that the FAA issue a final flight limitation rule by
August 1, 2011, and emphasized that any delay would be in violation
of the will of Congress and of the American people.
ALPA underscored in its submission that issuing a regulation now
would not preclude airlines from incorporating new science into
Fatigue Risk Management Programs as it becomes available. If future
science were to warrant amendment of the regulation, an established
mechanism exists to request such a review.
In addition, the world’s largest pilots union highlighted
the provisions in the proposed regulations that provide the
Department of Defense (DOD) with flexibility for charter operations
that move troops and equipment vital to the national defense.
Through these provisions, the use of Fatigue Risk Management
Programs, and the installation of pilot rest facilities on DOD
charter aircraft, only a small percentage of current DOD flying
would require adjustment under the proposed regulations.
“The proposed pilot rest regulations are built on sound
science, allow for new research to be included in airline
operations, and feature provisions that give the airlines
flexibility when needed to provide military lift for the national
defense,” concluded Capt. Moak. “The FAA must safeguard
air transportation for all who rely on it and issue the new airline
pilot rest regulations by the August 1 deadline.”