ALPA applauds FAA re-authorisation

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The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) “commends” the US House of Representatives for its passage of a five-year Federal Aviation Administration re-authorisation that will not only advance safety for the travelling and shipping public but also fair competition for US aviation workers.

According to ALPA president Captain Tim Canoll, the union recognises the leadership and determined work on this re-authorisation by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), committee ranking member.

The bill makes significant strides in enhancing safe operations for airline passengers, crews and cargo. The measure maintains life-saving first officer qualification, training, and experience requirements; improves the safe transport by air of lithium batteries; mandates secondary cockpit barriers on new passenger airliners; prescribes the automatic acceptance of voluntary safety reports; and supports the authorization of pilot assistance programs. In addition, the re-authorisation contains an amendment offered by Rep. DeFazio to allow the FAA to regulate unmanned aircraft systems flown by hobbyists to enhance the safety of all who operate in the national airspace, including planes carrying passengers and cargo.

The re-authorisation also defends fair competition for US workers by addressing “flag-of-convenience” schemes that allow foreign airlines to avoid labour, tax, and safety laws by basing different pieces of their business in different countries, says the union.

ALPA is also pleased by the amendment offered by Reps. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Dina Titus (D-NV), John Katko (R-NY), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Adam Smith (D-WA), Mimi Walters (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), which directs the FAA administrator to create and facilitate a Women in Aviation Advisory Board to promote organisations and programs that provide education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women in the aviation industry.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 30 airlines in the United States and Canada.