CAPA applauds "Safe Skies Act"

Washington, DC (June 27, 2017) - The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), representing over 30,000 professional passenger and cargo airline pilots, is pleased to announce that Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with co-sponsors Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) have re-introduced “Safe Skies Act" (S. 1423). We applaud their continued efforts on this crucial piece of aviation safety legislation, and support its’ passage without delay.

CAPA has long-advocated the need for "One Level of Safety" for our nation's passenger, cargo, and supplemental pilots and believes that the final Flight Time/Duty Time rules create a lower standard of oversight that is unacceptable and runs counter to improved safety. Fatigue does not discriminate between types of airline operations, aircraft type, or what is being carried on the aircraft.  This is particularly true for cargo operators, charter operators, and operators that transport our troops.

CAPA President Captain Lee Collins stated, "The idea that an "exemption" provides all-cargo and supplemental carriers the ability to "opt in-or-out" of this new rule fails to meet the mandate of "One Level of Safety."  “There must be industry standard rules that provide safe transportation by all of our nation’s airlines regardless of whether cargo or passengers are being carried in the rear of the aircraft", he added.  

Cargo and supplemental airlines share the same airspace, airports, runways and taxiways with all other airlines including passenger carriers, and should be subject to the same safety regulations.  There is no scientific foundation for the establishment of separate pilot duty and rest rules based on the type of operations they conduct.  Allowing some operators to operate outside of this much-needed safety net is not grounded in modern fatigue science as mandated by Congress in 2010.  Logical regulatory reform must take precedence over “big money” special interests within the air cargo industry.

CAPA strongly supports the “Safe Skies Act" (S. 1423) and industry standard rules for all airlines. "It is vitally important to the safety of our nation's transportation system," President Collins stated.  "Until Flight Duty and Rest regulations are applied to all-cargo carriers and supplemental carriers we will never have "One-Level-of-Safety, which places our nations’ airline safety system at great risk or another unfortunate and costly tragedy", he added.

The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations is a trade association representing more than 30,000 professional passenger and cargo airline pilots at carriers including American Airlines (Allied Pilots Association), UPS Airlines (IPA), ABX Air, Horizon Airlines, Southern Air, Silver Airways, Allegiant Air, Kalitta Air, Kalitta Charters II, Miami Air, Cape Air, Omni Air, Atlas Air (Teamsters Local 1224), and Republic Airlines (Teamsters Local 357).