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Thu, Apr 04, 2024

ALPA Commends FAA Mental Health Rulemaking Committee Recommendations

Pilots Union Co-chaired Critically Important Committee

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA) has commended the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Mental Health and Aviation Medical Clearances Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) for including several of the union's long-standing recommendations in its final report.
 

ALPA, co-chair of the committee, and other industry stakeholders called for changes in the way the federal government approaches mental health in the aviation sector and vowed to work collaboratively to change the outdated system. "We applaud the FAA for convening this rulemaking committee. ALPA was proud to cochair the panel and lend our expertise to this critically important work. Airline pilots shouldn't have to choose between seeking the help they need and the career they love," said ALPA president Capt. Jason Ambrosi.

The ARC's final report recommends several steps--many of which ALPA has long been advocating for--that the federal government can take to improve the current system. Those recommendations include: Continued collaboration on worker-education campaigns designed to destigmatize mental health, explain the process from recognizing conditions needing support through recovery, and encourage workers to seek help early. Break down barriers that discourage aviation workers from seeking help and, for those who do seek treatment, improve the process for them to safely and expeditiously return to work when able. Expand use of existing peer-support training program that would train peers to confidentially discuss concerns and connect with resources.

ALPA calls on the FAA to begin implementation of the ARC's recommendations and will continue to offer its full support, collaboration, and expertise to improve and expand mental health resources for pilots and other aviation workers to help improve the outdated protocols for reporting, testing, and treatment.

"The safety of the flying public and our crews is at the foundation of everything we do, and for decades we have worked with the FAA and partners across the industry to pioneer a proactive approach to improving aviation safety and maintaining a healthy work environment for pilots. For nearly 50 years, ALPA has been a leader in this area, developing and implementing programs that support pilots' mental health, and we stand ready to continue this important work using this rulemaking committee's report as a roadmap," added Ambrosi.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 77,000 pilots at 42 U.S. and Canadian airlines.

FMI: www.alpa.org

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