(Washington, DC – May 11, 2021) The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) fully supports “Fair and Open Skies Act of 2021”.  This bipartisan legislation introduced by Chairs Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Rick Larsen (D-WA), along with co-sponsors Committee Vice-Chair Sharice Davids (D-KS), Subcommittee Vice Chair Conor Lamb (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), Jack Bergman (R-MI), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Kaiali’i Kahele (D-HI).  This bill will ensure that authorizations issued by the Secretary of Transportation to foreign air carriers do not undermine labor (rights) or safety standards.

This critical legislation will require the DOT Secretary to consider possible “erosion of labor standards associated with flags of convenience carriers” when issuing foreign air permits. It would also prohibit the Secretary, in some cases, from issuing foreign air permits unless the Secretary determines the airline will not “undermine labor standards.”

“Aviation is a crucial component of the U.S. economy, and the potential loss of our indigenous airline industry, especially in light of the life-saving role it has played during the recent pandemic, is clearly not in the public interest,” stated CAPA President Captain Larry Rooney. “Congress has recognized that U.S. aviation jobs, labor protections, and aviation safety must be held to the highest standards; therefore, we must ensure that a level playing field is provided for U.S. carriers to compete globally,'” he added.

CAPA is steadfast in its belief that we cannot allow the U.S. airline industry to suffer the same fate as the U.S. merchant marine fleet decades ago by flag-of-convenience carriers. Instead, we must halt the potential loss of U.S. aviation jobs, defend the U.S. aviation industry, all while protecting the safety of the American flying public.

CAPA applauds Chairmen DeFazio and Larsen and the many co-sponsors for their leadership in introducing this vital legislation, and we look forward to its quick passage into Law.