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Allied Pilots Association Voices Initial Support for Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act

Dépèche transmise le 30 juillet 2009 par Business Wire

Allied Pilots Association Voices Initial Support for Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act

Allied Pilots Association Voices Initial Support for Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act

FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Allied Pilots Association (APA), certified collective bargaining agent for the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines (NYSE: AMR), voiced initial support for the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009, introduced yesterday afternoon by the House Subcommittee on Aviation.

The bipartisan bill is intended to improve standards for pilot hiring, training and flight-duty time, as well as further regulate what carriers must do to maintain safe crews and operations.

“APA is encouraged that the House Aviation Subcommittee recognizes that the single most important safety factor in a safe air transportation system is an experienced, well-trained and well-rested pilot,” APA President Captain Lloyd Hill said. “My first impression is that this legislation represents a significant step in the right direction for an industry that has taken some wrong turns.”

Captain Hill said that APA’s safety and training committees would thoroughly review the proposed bill, which was drafted as a result of several meetings focused on safety issues highlighted by recent aviation accidents. One of the meetings, held earlier this month, was structured as a roundtable discussion among the leadership of the nation’s unionized pilots – including Captain Hill – and representatives from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Among other improvements, the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act would require that all airline pilots considered for hire have an Airline Transport Pilot license, which requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration requires that commercial pilots have a minimum of 250 hours of experience.

“The union leaders at the roundtable discussion – representing 90,000 pilots across the country – all agreed that raising minimum pilot hiring requirements was crucial to improving the safety of the nation’s air transportation system,” Captain Hill said. “APA is pleased that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is looking in depth at safety issues that have affected this industry for some time.”

The bill also includes new regulations designed to minimize the dangers of fatigue, which has been highlighted as a factor in the Feb. 12 crash of Colgan Air/Continental Connection Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York, in which 50 people were killed.

Founded in 1963, APA—the largest independent pilot union in the U.S.—is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 11,500 pilots of American Airlines, including 1,969 pilots on furlough. The furloughs began shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Also, several hundred American Airlines pilots are on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s Web site address is www.alliedpilots.org. American Airlines is the nation’s second-largest passenger carrier and fifth-largest cargo carrier.

Business Wire

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