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White House says NO to rest

trip

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Charter, Cargo Airlines Oppose New Pilot Safety Regulations


Published August 17, 2011
| Associated Press
WASHINGTON – Amid fierce opposition from charter and cargo [COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important][COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important]airlines[/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR], as well as alarms raised by Pentagon officials, the Obama administration has delayed new safety rules aimed at preventing airline pilots from becoming so exhausted that they make dangerous mistakes.
The Federal Aviation Administration was supposed to have final rules in place by Aug. 1 under a law passed by Congress last year in response to a 2009 regional airline crash in western New York that killed 50 people.

The FAA proposed new rules last year designed to address long-standing concerns that pilot fatigue contributes to errors that cause accidents. They would reshape decades-old regulations governing how many hours a pilot can be on duty or at the controls of a plane, to take into account the latest scientific understanding of how fatigue slows human reflexes and erodes judgment.
Administration officials declined to comment on the reasons for the delay. A new schedule for issuing final rules indicates the target date -- which has been repeatedly pushed back -- is now in late November.
[COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important][COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important]Charter[/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR] airlines are demanding to be exempted from the new rules. Charter, also called nonscheduled, airlines not only fly tourists and sports teams, they provide the planes and pilots for thousands of military flights every year. Civilian airlines transport more than 90 percent of U.S. troops and 40 percent of military cargo around the globe under contracts with the Pentagon. The trips are frequently long, usually at night and often to danger spots like Afghanistan.
The nation's top aviation accident investigator blamed the delay in issuing final rules on the influence of airlines that put profit ahead of safety.
"There are special interests who are holding this rule up because it's not in their financial self-interest," National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman told The Associated Press this week. "The American people expect safety to trump special interests, not the other way around."
The proposed rules would allow some pilots to fly more hours -- 10 instead of the current maximum of eight -- if they begin their day in the morning so that most of their flying takes place during the daytime. But pilots who fly overnight -- the busiest time of day for cargo carriers and military charters -- would be allowed fewer than eight hours because people naturally crave sleep during those hours.
The rule could force airlines to add one or two relief pilots to the normal two-pilot [COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important][COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important]flight[/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR] crew on long, overseas flights and to provide onboard rest facilities and sleeping accommodations at destinations more frequently.
And it sets standards for suitable resting places for a pilot during a flight while another pilot flies the plane. Airlines that provide a bunk for the pilot to lie flat for a nap would be allowed to fly longer without changing crews.
Many airlines already provide bunks for flights longer than eight hours, but not all. On United Parcel Service's Boeing 767s, pilot Lauri Esposito says the only place to rest is on a row of three small jump seats in the back of the cockpit. A captain or first officer trying to get some rest will often lie across all three seats, positioning tray tables on top to keep from sliding through the gaps, she said. If they're tall, their feet are in the bathroom.
"We're not asking for rest in heavenly beds, we just want some fatigue mitigation," said Esposito, fatigue committee chairman for the Independent Pilots Association, the union representing UPS pilots. "I don't know how these 6-foot-4 men do it. Some of them just resort to sleeping on the floor."
[COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important][COLOR=blue !important][FONT=inherit !important]Airlines[/FONT][/FONT][/COLOR][/COLOR] would also have to give pilots a minimum of nine hours off between work shifts, one hour more than currently required. They would also have to put in place "risk management" programs designed to spot work schedules likely to prevent pilots from getting adequate rest and correct them.
Airline industry officials are nearly unanimous in their opposition. The Air Transport Association, which represents large carriers, estimates the proposal will cost airlines nearly $20 billion over 10 years. The FAA pegs the cost far lower: $1.2 billion. And the agency said that would be partially offset by an estimated $660 million in benefits over the same period.
Opposition is greatest among cargo and charter carriers. UPS, the world's 9th largest airline with more than 200 planes and over 2,600 pilots, estimates its compliance costs at as much as $1.8 billion over the next decade.
"The proposal effectively rewrites UPS' collective bargaining agreement with its pilots' union while hobbling the company's finely honed domestic and overseas logistics network," the carrier said in comments to the FAA.
Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander of the U.S. Transport Command, said the current work rules for charter carriers should stay in place.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., tried to attach a provision to a long-term FAA funding bill that would have exempted charter carriers from the proposed rule, but dropped the matter for lack of support. He and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., also wrote Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking for an exception for charter airlines. They said FAA hadn't sufficiently considered the estimated $3.7 billion over 10 years in cost to charter carriers.
Omni Air Inc., based in Tulsa, Okla., is one of the most active charter airlines involved in military transport. It made a profit of $69 million last year on revenues of $530 million, according to the Transportation Department.
An Air Force study provided to The AP suggests that the new rules would have caused the number of flights requiring extra pilots to drop from 2,775 to 1,583 over five months last year.
But flights that don't comply with FAA regulations would have increased from 786 to 1,734 during the same period. As an example, the study said flights from Leipzig, Germany, to Fort Campbell in Kentucky will no longer be able to proceed on to Fort Hood in Texas without first changing crews in Kentucky.
The rule allows airlines to exceed pilot work limits when operating in "unsafe areas," but isn't clear on what constitutes an unsafe area, the National Air Carrier Association, which represents charter airlines, wrote the FAA. FAA rules apply to civilian pilots working overseas.
The rule "would have severe implications on the non-scheduled carriers' ability to serve U.S. military and humanitarian efforts worldwide and would ultimately weaken those efforts," the association said.
For example, under the proposed rules the carrier that currently flies from an Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany, to Al Udeid, Qatar -- a flight that requires pilots to be on duty more than 17 hours -- would have to increase its flight crew to four pilots and use a plane with a bunk for pilot rest, which it doesn't currently have, the association said.
Concerns that charter airlines might not be able to complete military missions aren't credible, Hersman said.
"They can still do the missions, they just need to make sure they are properly crewing and complying with the rest requirements," she said.



I didn't know UPS pilots were sleeping on the floor?
 

labbats

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"There are special interests who are holding this rule up because it's not in their financial self-interest," National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman told The Associated Press this week. "The American people expect safety to trump special interests, not the other way around."


Is anyone surprised by this? I don't like how jaded I'm becoming and this isn't helping.
 

Lear70

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"Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb, commander of the U.S. Transport Command, said the current work rules for charter carriers should stay in place."

http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=6426
OK, fine... can I take drugs like their pilots to help me stay awake then sleep, and oh, can I get a government pension with that?

Until then, why don't you worry about YOUR pilots, General, and let the civilians worry about ours, mkay?

Of course it's about the money... the charter companies have GOT to start respecting rest issues. Can't tell you how many times I had to just say "That's it, we're done", and go find a hotel and worry about getting yelled at later.
 

Rick James

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Until then, why don't you worry about YOUR pilots, General, and let the civilians worry about ours, mkay?

Exactly! I wonder how many charter flights the mighty General has flown? Just because he's and accomplished aviator/officer doesn't make him an expert in every facet of aviation. Lets put him on a 5 day trip with min rest and ask him if he maintains that opinion.
 

johnsonrod

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Time to fess up.... How many of you guys voted for Obama? Did he ever manage anything bigger than a household when he got the job? Sorry, you get what you pay for....

HOPE ========> NOPE in 2012
 

EL10

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Time to fess up.... How many of you guys voted for Obama? Did he ever manage anything bigger than a household when he got the job? Sorry, you get what you pay for....

HOPE ========> NOPE in 2012




Oh my lord I can not believe I just read that.

Trip down history lane shall we? These new rules came about with the help of Randy Babbitt who was appointed by who? The gentleman that ran against our President has been on record for his view of union workers.

Lets be all grown ups this is a tangled web of the major Republican lobbyists pushing Congress to over turn the new NMB voting rules. Until this issue and the full authorization of the FAA funding happens the rest rules are going to be held hostage. Remember its politics scratch my back I scratch yours.

And yes I voted to preserve the middle class in 2008.
 

dashtrash

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OK, fine... can I take drugs like their pilots to help me stay awake then sleep, and oh, can I get a government pension with that?

Until then, why don't you worry about YOUR pilots, General, and let the civilians worry about ours, mkay?

Of course it's about the money... the charter companies have GOT to start respecting rest issues. Can't tell you how many times I had to just say "That's it, we're done", and go find a hotel and worry about getting yelled at later.


He'll have a few nice BOD offers after retirement. Something tells me it wont be as a line pilot.
 

flythere

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And yes I voted to preserve the middle class in 2008. [/QUOTE]

And I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping contribute to this mess we find ourselves in!!! Hillary probably could have done better, and that's not saying much!!!
 

Smarta$$

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Time to fess up.... How many of you guys voted for Obama? Did he ever manage anything bigger than a household when he got the job? Sorry, you get what you pay for....

HOPE ========> NOPE in 2012

You really do lack intelligence. Although, it may actually be refreshing to have such a simple mind. Less to think about, and all.
 

Flyer1015

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The Federal Aviation Administration was supposed to have final rules in place by Aug. 1 under a law passed by Congress last year in response to a 2009 regional airline crash in western New York that killed 50 people.
Rest rules weren't why the Buffalo crash happened. It was day one of a trip, and the first turn cancelled. The flight to BUF that night was the first for the crew. It's not like they had done a 14:59 day and got min 8 hrs rest, and then the next day, crash on leg #5. Then, it would be obvious. But we're playing the rest rule card in this case because the opportunity allows it. The rest problem, for both of them in the BUF crash, was their poor decision making in terms of commuting and sleeping in base. Commuting through the night is irresponsible if you don't get enough sleep. It's not fair to the passengers who expect you to be sharp, on your game, and alert at the start of your trip. The real reason why BUF happened is a poor response to a stick shaker. You can blame the training, the FARs guidance on Part 121 stall recovery, and incompetency of the PIC.
 

johnsonrod

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You really do lack intelligence. Although, it may actually be refreshing to have such a simple mind. Less to think about, and all.

Glad to see your man is doing such a fantastic job after 2.5 years. Where to start?

First debt downgrade ever. Zero leadership (but great sound bites!) resulting in Congressional gridlock (unlike Ronald Reagan in a similar siutation in the 80s). New, huge entitlement program that will make the US worse than Greece financially if it comes to fruition. Zero economic PLAN. Slams Israel. No energy policy - we are still largely dependent upon Saudi Arabia and Venezuela for oil. His economic advisors are dropping like flies and leaving in droves... HE HAS NO ECONOMIC PLAN AND NEVER DID. And, to top it off, he takes a long vacation in expensive Martha's Vineyard while unemployment lines grow...

And I lack intelligence? Really? You voted for him and I didn't. You bought his charisma and "cool" style. But "HOPE" only goes so far... Just think about it. Let me know if you find out what is economic plan is... It ain't working and he has not focused on it since he arrived.
 
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Heavy Set

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Glad to see your man is doing such a fantastic job after 2.5 years. Where to start?

First debt downgrade ever. Zero leadership (but great sound bites!) resulting in Congressional gridlock (unlike Ronald Reagan in a similar siutation in the 80s). New, huge entitlement program that will make the US worse than Greece financially if it comes to fruition. Zero economic PLAN. Slams Israel. No energy policy - we are still largely dependent upon Saudi Arabia and Venezuela for oil. His economic advisors are dropping like flies and leaving in droves... HE HAS NO ECONOMIC PLAN AND NEVER DID. And, to top it off, he takes a long vacation in expensive Martha's Vineyard while unemployment lines grow...

And I lack intelligence? Really? You voted for him and I didn't. You bought his charisma and "cool" style. But "HOPE" only goes so far... Just think about it. Let me know if you find out what is economic plan is... It ain't working and he has not focused on it since he arrived.

Obama's economic plan is very simple. Let me spell it out for you:

1. Redistribute wealth from wealth creators (i.e., small business people and a relatively small number of billionaires who stash their money elsewhere where we will never find it) to middle and lower classes through job-killing taxes and extra regulations - including to those people who would prefer not to work and instead expect growing entitlements to support them and their ever-growing dependents.

2. Offer everyone jobs in the Government - including 14,000 new inspector jobs employed by the IRS exclusively to monitor the population's "compliance" with Obamacare (they probably will pay great relative to aviation jobs)

Ask yourself: is the country better off or worse off than it was 30 months ago? Obama believes government should have a greater role in everyone's lives while the Republicans believe government should play a lesser role and people should decide how to spend a greater proportion of their own money. Big philosophical difference. Just look at Europe and it's current entitlement/debt problems and you will see our future if Obama gets 4 more years... God help us!
 
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Sacha

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Great book just out. After America. Get Ready for Armageddon. Authored by Mark Steyn.
An example of our government out of control is that back in the fifties, 1 in 20 workers needed some sort of government certification etc. to perform his chosen profession. Today it's 1 in 3.
 
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UALRATT

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Glad to see your man is doing such a fantastic job after 2.5 years. Where to start?

First debt downgrade ever. Zero leadership (but great sound bites!) resulting in Congressional gridlock (unlike Ronald Reagan in a similar siutation in the 80s). New, huge entitlement program that will make the US worse than Greece financially if it comes to fruition. Zero economic PLAN. Slams Israel. No energy policy - we are still largely dependent upon Saudi Arabia and Venezuela for oil. His economic advisors are dropping like flies and leaving in droves... HE HAS NO ECONOMIC PLAN AND NEVER DID. And, to top it off, he takes a long vacation in expensive Martha's Vineyard while unemployment lines grow...

And I lack intelligence? Really? You voted for him and I didn't. You bought his charisma and "cool" style. But "HOPE" only goes so far... Just think about it. Let me know if you find out what is economic plan is... It ain't working and he has not focused on it since he arrived.

Dude, go make yourself useful...
 
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