Fri, Sep 25, 2009
Testifies Before The House Aviation Subcommittee On Aviation
Safety And Pilot Training
The Coalition of Airlines Pilots Associations (CAPA) which
represents more than 28,000 commercial passenger and cargo pilots
nation-wide, testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee
yesterday, providing statements on pilot fatigue, airline transport
pilot's (ATP) license and other issues highlighted by recent
aviation accidents including Continental Connection Flight 3407 in
Buffalo, New York earlier this year.
Hiring qualifications have dropped to their lowest in aviation
history, with current minimum hiring requirements for U.S.
commercial part 121 and 135 operators at only 250 hours. "A
pilot with so little flight time and qualification should not be
charged with the responsibility of 50, 70, or even 100 passengers
and their safe passage through the congested air traffic control
system we currently have," said Captain Paul Onorato, president of
CAPA. ""One level of safety" dictates that all air carriers,
regional or otherwise, should require the ATP as well," he
continued, "the 1500 flight hours that the ATP requires develops a
mature, experienced and professional aviator who has the foundation
to exercise prudent judgment while responsible for the safe
transportation of tens or even hundreds of passengers."
"The ASAP programs must also be protected in order to support
a non-threatening reporting culture, until appropriate federal laws
have been enacted. Punitive action is universally rejected as
appropriate corrective action for unintentional errors", he stated,
"and the recent trend for regional code-share is to assist carriers
in selecting the "low-cost provider" which erodes passenger service
and safety standards.
"CAPA unequivocally supports H.R. 3371 that will require an Air
Transport Pilot (ATP) license, more restrictive duty times to
reduce fatigue and increased use of Aviation Safety Action Programs
(ASAP)", Captain Onorato continued. "We applaud the House
Aviation Subcommittee for their valiant efforts to help keep the
flying public and our skies safe".
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