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Fri, Sep 25, 2009

CAPA Takes Its Turn On Capitol Hill

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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