Thu, Oct 15, 2009
CAPA Applauds The Bill's Passage, Waits Senate Action
The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed H.R. 3371,
the "Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of
2009." The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Transportation
Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Aviation Subcommittee
Chairman Jerry Costello (D-IL), and the ranking GOP members, John
Mica (R-FL) and Tom Petri (R-WI), has been strongly supported by
the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA).
One of the key provisions in the bill would require that all
pilots, Captains and First Officers alike, hold an FAA Airline
Transport Pilot (ATP) license and have at least 1500 hours of
flight time to fly FAA part 121 commercial aircraft. A late change
was made to the legislation allowing "credit" toward flight hours
for specific academic training, which CAPA is opposed to, but
overall HR 3371 goes a long way to address important safety issues.
CAPA feels strongly that there is no substitute for actual
experience in the cockpit and that "one level of safety" should be
the standard for all ATP licensed pilots.
H.R. 3371 contains other important provisions that would
require firm implementation dates for new Flight Time and Duty Time
limitations, require the implementation of Fatigue Risk Management
Systems to more adequately track pilot fatigue, and facilitate the
establishment of Aviation Safety Action Programs (ASAP) and Flight
Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) programs by all commercial
airlines and their Unions.
In a news release, CAPA expressed thanks to Chairman Costello,
Ranking Member Petri, the entire Aviation Subcommittee members and
staff for this landmark achievement in aviation safety legislation.
"We fully support the effort to advance these critical safety
provisions and stand ready to work with the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Commerce Committee
to send a bill to President Obama this year that reflects the
important principals laid out in H.R. 3371 which will improve
safety for the American flying public."
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