CAPA Opposes Sen. Inhofe's amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill on Pilot Fatigue

Press Release (click here to download)

Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2011) —The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) which represents over 28,000 commercial passenger and all-cargo pilots is concerned with the proposed amendment on pilot fatigue offered by Senator James Inhofe to the FAA Reauthorization Bill. The amendment would exempt non-scheduled carriers from adhering to the current flight and duty regulations and allow a different set of pilot duty and rest rules.  CAPA has long advocated “One Level of Safety” for all commercial flight operations and does not support any form of “carve-out” or “waiver” of fatigue regulations for certain types of operations.

Captain Carl Kuwitzky, president of CAPA stated, “The proposed amendment by Senator Inhofe would create a second tier of flight and duty regulations which runs counter to the FAA’s NPRM and the Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s (ARC) recommendation that pilots are subject to the same biological principals regardless of the type of air carrier operations. Senator Inhofe’s proposed legislation would have a negative impact on aviation safety and we urge policymakers to oppose this amendment”.

Pilot fatigue is an ever present threat to the safety of traveling public and has been identified on the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” list of regulatory changes for two decades. The FAA was charged by Congress and the Administration to develop a set of comprehensive new rules utilizing the best available science, which would reduce the risks associated with fatigue, along with the hazards it presents to the safe conduct of commercial airline flight operations. CAPA applauds the FAA’s willingness to apply the same rules to all air passenger and cargo operators and it is imperative to resist efforts to carve out special rules based on business models rather than fatigue science.

“Logical regulatory reforms must take precedence with government regulators over the economic interests of the airline industry”, Captain Kuwitzky said. He further added, “There must be industry standard rules for providing safe transportation services to the flying public and critical air transport of military personnel.”

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, US Airways, Southern Air, ABX Air, Atlas Air Cargo, Kalitta Air, Polar Air Cargo, Arrow Air, Horizon Air, Gulfstream Air, Cape Air, Miami Air, Omni Air and USA 3000.

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