NTSB Report on 2023 Near-Miss in Austin Highlights Importance of Two Pilots

Efforts to Remove Pilots from the Flight Deck Will Result in More Accidents

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WASHINGTON—Capt. Jason Ambrosi, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted its final investigative report into the near-collision of FedEx Flight 1432 and Southwest Flight 708 at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last year at its Board Meeting today:

“For months, ALPA has been sounding the alarm on the ongoing efforts by some aircraft manufacturers to remove pilots from the flight deck and replace them with automation. Today’s NTSB Board meeting highlighted the critical importance of having two highly trained, well-rested pilots on the flight deck. I commend the FedEx crew for their extraordinary efforts to avert disaster and thank the NTSB for its thorough investigation. I echo Chair Homendy’s comments about how the FedEx crew, working together and utilizing their extensive experience and all the resources available, saved the lives of the 128 people onboard Southwest Flight 708.

“Today’s discussion makes it crystal clear that that lowering safety standards by removing pilots from the flight deck is not acceptable. ALPA has a decades-long history of welcoming and helping to implement new technology that maintains or improves aviation safety and security. But using technology to put profits ahead of safety just won’t fly—and nor should it. The United States has the safest aviation system in the world, and we should be doing everything in our power to build on that success and reject any and all efforts to take our industry back in time.”


Featured editorial image credit: John McAdorey / Shutterstock.com,  Aerial view of Austin Bergstrom International Airport AUS in Austin, Texas




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