CAPA Response to FAA Reauthorization Bill

CAPA: The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations
The Airline pilots Trade Association, Representing 28,000 line flying professional pilots.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For interviews and commentary:
President Carl Kuwitzky
202. 624.3540 office
972.523.8815 mobile


Response to the FAA Reauthorization Bill:
While the Bill will help provide stability to the industry, it is yet another
example of a second level of safety applied to the all-cargo industry.

Washington, DC (February 7, 2012) CAPA: The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations , representing over 28,000 commercial airline pilots, applauds the passage of an FAA Reauthorization Bill, the first since 2007.

“While still trying to understand how exempting the most fatigued pilot group –the all-cargo pilot- from the new Flight Duty and Rest Regulations enhances aviation safety, we are now faced with battery regulation that doesn’t adequately safeguard our cargo pilots, ” said Captain Carl Kuwitzky, president of CAPA.

The Bill prevents the FAA from mandating tighter controls on lithium batteries beyond International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions unless U.S. or foreign air-accident investigators produce “a credible report” that lithium batteries “substantially contributed” to an aircraft fire. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a listing of 118 such incidents in May of 2011.

“The FAA’s own model predicts the loss of 4-5 cargo aircraft over the next ten years due to the bulk carriage of lithium batteries, and somehow that is acceptable’?

In September 2010 a UPS 747 was lost near Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The initial accident report from the UAE General Civil Aviation Investigation focused on lithium batteries and resulted in four safety recommendations; all of which dealt with the carriage of lithium batteries. The ICAO technical instructions would do nothing to help prevent that accident again. Primary, non-rechargeable lithium based batteries were banned from passenger aircraft by emergency order in 2004. The list goes on and on, yet Congress fails to step up and allow for regulation of this hazardous cargo.

CAPA has long supported “One Level of Safety,” a level which must include all-cargo carriers in the rules they fly under, and the cargo they carry.