Rep. Shuster withdraws amendment on Pilot Fatigue to the FAA Reauthorization Bill

Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2011) — The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) which represents over 28,000 commercial passenger and all-cargo cargo pilots is pleased to announce that Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) has withdrawn his Amendment (#6) on Pilot Fatigue to the FAA Reauthorization Bill (HR 658).

On Friday, Rep. Shuster withdrew his amendment which sought to require the FAA to recognize that the United States’ aviation industry is composed of a variety of different segments with different operating characteristics and require the FAA to tailor the regulations to address the unique characteristics of each industry segment. He announced that he would withdraw the language to avoid further delay in conference negotiations and the legislation’s enactment.

CAPA prides itself on being a leader in aviation safety by providing comprehensive solutions to regulatory reforms, and has long advocated “One Level of Safety” for all commercial flight operations. CAPA does not support any form of “carve out” or “waiver” of fatigue regulations for certain types of operations.
“Congressman Shuster’s amendment could have stalled progress on significant aviation safety rules passed by Congress last summer,” said Captain Carl Kuwitzky, President of CAPA. He further added, “The amendment could have undermined the hard work of the 111th Congress with regard to HR 5900 and Airline Safety, and essentially “undo” the FAA’s long fought battle for “One Level of Safety.”

Science has proven that effects of fatigue on the human body are the same regardless of the type of operation. The crews hauling our troops and the cargo that keep this country running should be covered by the same rest rules as the crews that carry passengers on an everyday basis. There must be industry standard rules for providing safe transportation services to the flying public and critical air transport of military personnel.

“We are very pleased that Congressman Shuster withdrew his amendment,” said Captain Kuwitzky. He further added, “Congress should ensure that regulators put safety before the economic interests of the airline industry, and we look forward to working with the Rep. Shuster on comprehensive regulatory reforms in the future. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all who have supported CAPA, and our 28,000 pilots, opposing this amendment”.

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, 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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Contact: Captain Carl Kuwitzky
(202) 624-3540