On Wednesday, July 29th, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced H.R 3371, The Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009 in a House committee. While ALPA has been pushing for reform on many of these issues for some time, the Colgan Air accident has brought a sense of urgency on the issue of safety within the airline industry
H.R. 3371: The Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009
The bill drew criticism from an industry trade group, the Air Transport Association, but has bipartisan support among senior members of the House. Air Transport Association President, James May, said airlines and regulators are already "fully engaged in determining the best course of action in response to the Colgan Air accident." A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate.
A recent Wall Street Journal article states "It ratchets up pressure on both the FAA and airlines to embrace changes long demanded by pilot union leaders and independent safety experts."
Among many issues the bill requires the FAA to update and strengthen the regulations on pre-employment screening, pilot training, and the sharing of information gathered from aviation safety programs. Also, the FAA would be required to draft new regulations dealing with flight and duty time based on the latest sleep and fatigue research.
ALPA will continue to advocate our position on these issues and will be influential on the final language of the legislation. The continued support of our membership, through participating in "Action Alerts" to supporting UP-PAC and ALPA PAC, is essential in ensuring our voice is heard in Washington.
The following provides a link to the language of the bill as introduced:
After months of ALPA’s efforts lobbying and educating U.S. regulators about the negative effect of Cabotage, the Department of Transportation reversed a decision made last year by the Bush Administration that allowed a series of charter flights by Air Canada to provide transportation for the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins during the 2008–2009 Season. That decision opened the door to additional contracts the carrier has secured since, with the Milwaukee Bucks and the St. Louis Blues.
DOT Reverses Bush-Era Policy on Cabotage
“You can chalk this DOT decision up to ALPA’s powerful influence in Washington, D.C.,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA president. “With support from the AFL-CIO and the Transportation Trades Department, this win shows how we’re protecting our members’ jobs with brute force. Make no mistake, ALPA is the voice for airline pilots.”
In addition, ALPA National released the following Legislative summary on Friday:
August 14, 2009 -- The House and Senate are in recess for the remainder of August and will return to Washington, DC on September 8, 2009. Several issues of importance to ALPA members are pending.
Much Pending in Washington as Congress Leaves for “District Work Period”