ALPA Supports NTSB’s Annual Most Wanted List
The Air Line Pilots
Association, Int’l yesterday expressed qualified support for the U.S. National
Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) annual Most Wanted List. However, with
cargo pilots due to receive a lower level of protection from aircrew fatigue
than their passenger counterparts, ongoing concerns about pilot fatigue remain.
The list, announced yesterday by the NTSB, included the prevention of in-flight
fires and illustrates that concerns about pilot and controller professionalism
have been effectively addressed.
Although the NTSB dropped transportation worker fatigue after the Federal
Aviation Administration published new flight-time and duty-time rules for
passenger pilots in December 2011, Chairman Deborah Hersman made it clear that
pilot fatigue—and, in particular, the exclusion of pilots who fly for all-cargo
airlines from the recently adopted science-based flight and duty
regulations—must continue to be addressed.
“We remain adamant that the new, science-based federal aviation regulations
on pilot fatigue must be expanded to cover pilots of all-cargo aircraft,” said
Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA president. “ALPA looks forward to maintaining our
long-standing partnership with the NTSB in reviewing industry progress toward a
true single level of safety for all pilots of all airliners.
“It has been demonstrated that many in Congress share our concerns in this
area. The bipartisan Safe Skies Act would provide a legislative solution to the
cargo carveout by requiring the Department of Transportation to include cargo
operations in the new regulations. ALPA worked hard with our partners on the
Hill to get this bill introduced in Congress, and we will continue to
aggressively lobby for its passage.”
The NTSB’s new list includes the prevention of in-flight
fires—something that pilots must be prepared to face each flight. The industry
has made significant progress in addressing many aspects of this issue, but the
NTSB’s inclusion may help push this work forward.
ALPA also hailed the NTSB’s recognition of extensive industry efforts,
supported and led by ALPA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association,
to ensure that the highest standards of professionalism continue to be
maintained. The removal of this reference to pilot and controller
professionalism is a testament to the hard work of many in the aviation industry
and the role of professional standards programs.
“This most wanted list reflects the dynamic nature of risk analysis and
mitigation in our industry, and ALPA is committed, as it has been throughout its
history, to a safer industry,” continued Moak. “We recognize and applaud the
work of the NTSB in creating priorities for improving the safety and security of
our skies. However, we continue to strongly believe that pilots flying in the
same skies, in and out of the same airports, must be flying under the same
standards of safety—regardless of what’s in the back of the aircraft. We simply
must continue this effort to truly achieve One Level of Safety.”
FedEx Pilots’ Union Responds to NTSB’s Most Wanted List.