CAPA urges Policymakers to Implement New Flight and Duty Limits for Pilots

download pdf


Contact: Captain Paul Onorato
(202) 756-5027

Washington, D.C. (April 29, 2010)—The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) which represents over 28,000 commercial passenger and cargo pilots is urging policymakers to not allow special interests to derail long-awaited reforms to regulations governing flight and duty time for commercial pilots.

“Current rules governing flight and duty time for professional pilots date back to the propeller age, well before the advent of high-speed, long-range jet travel across many time zones,” said CAPA President Captain Paul Onorato. “The National Transportation Safety Board has long cited the need to address pilot fatigue as one of its ‘most-wanted’ safety improvements.”

Recent news reports indicate that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) disagree on how to proceed with the long-awaited regulatory reform. At issue is whether the projected cost of the changes being contemplated is justified by the anticipated safety benefits. This disagreement between the two government agencies has delayed the release of new draft regulations.

The OMB projects that the FAA’s proposals could represent a significant additional expense for the industry during the next decade. However, the FAA is concerned that scaling back the reform proposal could undercut basic safety goals. The FAA is also reportedly concerned about losing the support of pilot unions that participated in the development of proposed new regulations. CAPA member unions were among the participants.

“Lobbyists for large cargo carriers are opposing implementation of any rules that would affect these carriers’ ability to provide overnight service between certain markets,” Onorato said. “The carriers are apparently opposed to regulations that would result in any reduction in their ‘back-side-of-the-clock’ operations.

“It’s time to put safety first and reduce pilot fatigue,” he said. “CAPA’s 28,000 pilots urge the FAA to proceed with releasing new draft regulations as a prelude to finalizing these important, long-awaited reforms.”


The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations is a trade association which represents more than 28,000 professional pilots at carriers including American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, UPS, ABX Air, US Airways, Atlas Air Cargo, Kalitta Air, Polar Air Cargo and NetJets.