FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Captain Paul Onorato, President
Washington, DC (August 2, 2010) ― The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) representing over 28,000 professional airline pilots applauds the US House and Senate passage of the pilot safety bill which will greatly increase part 121 airline pilot qualifications and improve the safety of the travelling public. CAPA has long advocated that the current FAA Airline Transport Pilot license must be the minimum qualification for all part 121 pilots. After more than a year of efforts by CAPA’s Executive Officers and Government Affairs Committee personnel, Congress has passed a bill requiring the Airline Transport Pilot license for commercial pilots.
In June of 2009, the representatives of 90,000 professional airline pilots testified in Congress that all pilots flying ‘Airline Transport Aircraft’ should, at a minimum, posses an FAA ‘Airline Transport Pilot License’ (ATP). CAPA’s line flying pilot representatives canvassed Congress, meeting with the members and their staffs educating each on the value of a well trained crew, the recent erosion of new hire pilot qualifications, and the need for more experience in US commercial airline cockpits. The United States House of Representatives demonstrated their agreement with CAPA’s position by passing the bi-partisan Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009 with an overwhelming vote of 409-11 in August of 2009. This is a positive first step in securing the safety of the flying public.
This pilot safety bill is the latest version of the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act and is a testament of dedication to the safety of the travelling public that Chairman Oberstar, Chairman Costello, Chairman Dorgan, Ranking Member Mica and Ranking Member Petri have demonstrated as leaders of Congressional Transportation committees. CAPA Vice-President and “Miracle on the Hudson” First Officer Jeff Skiles added, “As Professional Airline Pilots and experts in the field, we know that the requirement to possess an Airline Transport Pilot license is a definable common sense standard and a prerequisite experience requirement for all pilots who shoulder the responsibility of the travelling public in our air transportation system. The Congress and Senate have greatly improved the safety of the travelling public with the passage of this bill and CAPA applauds their efforts.”
The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations is a trade association which represents over 28,000 professional pilots at carriers including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, UPS Airlines, ABX Air, Atlas Air Cargo, Kalitta Air, Polar Air Cargo, Southern Air, Horizon Air, and US Airways.