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Sat, Aug 06, 2011

APA Calls For 'Immediate' Issuance Of Flight Time Duty Rules

Praises TSA For 'Known Crewmember' Program

The union representing pilots for American Airlines is calling for the federal government to proceed with the issuance of new flight- and duty time rules for commercial pilots without any further delay. "Congress mandated an August 1, 2011 deadline for the issuance of long-needed revisions to regulations governing airline pilot flight- and duty-time and minimum rest requirements,” said Allied Pilots Association (APA) President Captain David Bates. “To help ensure the safety of the traveling public, these revised regulations must be issued now without further delay. It’s unconscionable to permit special interests to delay the implementation of science-based, standardized flight- and duty-time regulations.”

APA representatives and a broad range of other industry stakeholders participated in the lengthy rulemaking process to develop the new regulations. According to various news reports, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has delayed issuing the new regulations in response to objections expressed by Part 121 Supplemental carriers, which include on-demand cargo airlines.

Bates noted that the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has identified the need to address human fatigue in flight operations as one of its “most wanted” safety improvements for more than 20 years.

The union is also praising the TSA for the implementation of the “Known Crewmember” program, which will streamline the security screening process for U.S. commercial pilots.

"We are gratified to see it come to fruition,” said Bates (pictured). “The introduction of full-body scanners last year was the catalyst for our pilots to say ‘enough is enough.’ We knew there had to be a better way to address the issue of security screening for our pilots, who were adamantly opposed to the additional radiation exposure they would receive via the scanners.”

APA and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) responded by pressing for a more common-sense approach. APA persuaded American Airlines senior management to get involved, which resulted in American Airlines Corporate Security writing the programming code for Known Crewmember. American Airlines then provided the Air Transport Association (ATA) with the code for implementation and support. ATA is hosting the servers that will query airline databases when TSA Transportation Security Officers process pilots for entrance to the Security Identification Display Area. The TSA will continue conducting random searches to help ensure the new system’s integrity.

“Known Crewmember’s rapid implementation is a testament to what can be accomplished when government, industry and labor work cooperatively,” Bates said. “On behalf of the APA leadership, I want to thank TSA Administrator Pistole for his commitment to pursuing common-sense solutions to crewmember security concerns.

FMI: www.alliedpilots.org


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