(Washington, DC – June 23, 2021) The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), representing more than 30,000 professional passenger and all-cargo airline pilots, is calling on Congress to end the cargo carve-out and pass the “Safe Skies Act.”
CAPA applauds the continued efforts of Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) along with co-sponsors Rep. John Katko (R-NY), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ) and Rep. Kaiali’I Kahele (D-HI) to close a significant safety gap with this crucial and potentially lifesaving piece of fatigue safety legislation.
The idea that an “exemption” that provides all-cargo and supplemental carriers with the ability to simply “opt-in or out” of passenger carrier rest rules fails to meet the mandate of “One Level of Safety,” which is the cornerstone of our nation’s enviable aviation safety record.
The continuing pandemic makes this issue even more crucial. As the air cargo industry, which has been dutifully shouldering the burden of providing critically necessary supplies, and now the lifesaving vaccine to locations around the globe, serves as a significant component to our nation’s economic and health safety recovery.
“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 transported,” stated CAPA President Larry Rooney. “Pilots that are flying under all-cargo rest rules and entrusted with carrying our military personnel in challenging conditions must also be protected under the same enhanced fatigue rules as those carrying our nation’s paying passengers,” he further added.
Pilot fatigue is a universal problem, not dependent on operation type or what is being transported. The current exclusion of Part 117 rules in air cargo and supplemental operations creates “two standards” for commercial aviation. Furthermore, all commercial aircraft share the same taxiways, runways, airways, and approaches, as the system, by design, is fully integrated.
Attempting to manage two different fatigue standards in the same integrated airspace degrades safety and increases overall system risk. CAPA stands steadfast and unwavering in our support of the “Safe Skies Act” and industry-standard fatigue rules for all airlines.
“It is vitally important to ensure that the safety of our nation’s transportation system remains paramount,” stated CAPA President Rooney. “Until Flight Duty and Rest regulations are applied to all-cargo carriers and supplemental carriers, we will never have “One-Level-of-Safety.” Sadly, its absence places our nation’s airline safety system at significant risk for another unfortunate, preventable, and costly tragedy,” Capt. Rooney added.
The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) is a trade association representing more than 30,000 professional passenger and all-cargo pilots at carriers including American Airlines (Allied Pilots Association), UPS Airlines (Independent Pilots Association), ABX Air, Horizon Airlines, Silver Airways, Cape Air, Omni Air, (Teamsters Local 1224), Republic Airlines (Teamsters Local 357), Atlas Air and Southern Air (Teamsters Local 2750).