MIAMI — During the next eight weeks, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) will target Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. during the launch of a new campaign called “This is your Captain Speaking”, intended to call on Congress to pass a reauthorization bill to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to put safety first.
“Airline pilots want to see a clean, on‐time FAA reauthorization bill this year that puts safety first,” said ALPA President Capt. Tim Canoll. “Unfortunately, some are calling for rolling back fatigue rules and safety standards for pilot training and qualification. Our paramount goal must be to preserve measures that safeguard our passengers, cargo, and flight crews. We can’t afford to settle for anything less.”
Besides this new campaign, nearly 200 pilots from across the country will meet with federal lawmakers during this week as part of ALPA’s annual legislative summit. Pilots will urge Congress to stop attempts to roll back safety regulations and eschew measures that could delay passage of the FAA reauthorization bill. The Association is now calling on Congress to prevent lengthy delays by providing the FAA with an on-time bill that provides the stable funding necessary to fulfill its safety responsibilities as well as moving ahead with projects that will increase aviation system capacity and efficiency.
During its legislative summit, ALPA will also call on lawmakers to support its efforts to stop Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad from violating U.S. Open Skies agreements and putting U.S. aviation jobs at risk. ALPA states that since 2004, these airlines have received more than $42 billion in unfair subsidies from their respective governments, distorting the global aviation marketplace. The association has joined with the three largest U.S. airlines –Delta Air Lines, American and United Airlines—and other unions in asking the Obama Administration to open consultations with Qatar and the UAE and freeze current passenger service while these airlines’ practices are screened.