On behalf of the approximately 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, Captain Keith Wilson, President of the Allied Pilots Association (APA), joins the presidents of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association in calling for passage of the Aviation, Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act.
According to Captain Wilson:
“For decades, we have watched valuable taxpayer-supported resources used in well-intended efforts to modernize the FAA and the Air Traffic Control system, only to have those efforts thwarted or become obsolete at implementation due to the vagaries and inefficiencies of the federal funding mechanism. Separating the regulated from the regulators, while simultaneously providing a predictable and reliable revenue stream, will allow the U.S. National Airspace System to retain its enviable safety and efficiency record, and equip and train its Air Traffic Controllers to handle the challenges of the coming century, retaining the United States’ role in global aviation as the gold standard. Additionally, APA is pleased with the passage of Representative Bob Gibbs’ amendment that assures a balanced pilot voice in future ATC governance.
“The AIRR Act also addresses a variety of important safety issues, such as accountability and oversight of foreign repair station employees, risk assessment requirements on cockpit safety regulations, harmonization with a global standard of recent guidance to severely constrain the carriage of lithium-ion batteries on passenger aircraft and so on.
“APA, however, notes that there is still work to be done, and the bill is a ways from passage and may not be in its final form. APA would like to see one level of safety in the arena of fatigue, flight and duty time, to include cargo and Part 135 operations. APA has previously applauded the Senate legislation introduced by Senators Jim Inhofe and Joe Manchin (‘the Manchin Amendment’) reforming third-class medical certification.
“Finally, APA looks forward to continuing its work with House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo and Ranking Member Rick Larsen in their bipartisan efforts to reauthorize and modernize the FAA.”
Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the world’s largest passenger airline.