ALPA Supports Bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Deal

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WASHINGTON— Capt. Jason Ambrosi, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement after Senate and House negotiators reached a bipartisan agreement to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):

“Maintaining the highest safety standards has been critical to establishing the U.S. as the global leader in aviation. ALPA applauds the bipartisan leadership of members of Congress to keep safety and the preservation of collective bargaining agreements of pilots front and center in the FAA reauthorization bill. This FAA reauthorization deal strengthens our industry, making flying safer for passengers, cargo, and crew without weakening the protections that have created the safest period in aviation history, and ALPA urges swift passage of this agreement.

“This deal maintains our world-leading pilot training standards and rejects attempts to arbitrarily raise the pilot retirement age, which would have introduced uncertainty into the U.S. aviation system and made us an international outlier. We are grateful for the strong advocacy and proactive stance from airline pilots across the country who were able to prevent rollbacks to the current pilot-qualification standards.

“ALPA has long maintained that as Congress considered this year’s FAA reauthorization, the focus should remain on breaking down barriers, opening up opportunities to ensure a robust and qualified pipeline of aviators, and providing air-service support for those living in rural and small communities without lowering the bar on safety. ALPA calls on the House and Senate to swiftly pass this bipartisan legislation.”

The proposed deal includes several provisions that will enhance aviation safety while expanding the pipeline for the aviation workforce including:

  • Expanding the air traffic controller workforce.
  • Creating a pathway to require secondary barriers for existing aircraft after the Department of Transportation required them for new aircraft last year. Secondary barriers became a security priority in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Directing the FAA to develop a standardized system for voluntarily reporting smoke and fume events on passenger-carrying aircraft and rulemaking to address safety risks and allow for onboard detectors and monitoring equipment.
  • Strengthening protections for flight crew voluntarily cooperating with accident and incident investigations.
  • Reviewing and modernizing the special issuance process for mental health and medication protocols, including recommendations from the Mental Health and Aviation Medical Clearances Aviation Rulemaking Committee, co-chaired by ALPA.
  • Protections for flight crew related to FAA certificate action and employer discipline related to cockpit voice recorders.
  • Requiring the FAA to update disclosure protections for voluntary safety reporting programs.
  • Enhancing runway and airport alerting systems.
  • Directing the FAA to issue guidance to commercial air carriers on crewmember pumping during noncritical phases of flight.
  • Establishing the Bessie Coleman Women in Aviation Advisory Committee to advise DOT and the FAA on matters and policies related to the recruitment, retention, employment, education, training, career advancement, and well-being, of women in the aviation industry.
  • Establishing a national strategic plan to improve the recruitment, hiring, and retention of the civil aviation workforce.



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