July 30, 2010
ALPA: Aviation Bill Will Advance Airline Safety
WASHINGTON, DC – Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate voted Thursday and Friday, respectively, to advance key safety-related provisions as part of an extension of the FAA reauthorization bill – HR 5900. This is the 15th extension since the last bill expired in 2007. It extends FAA operations through September 30 and largely includes key safety provisions of HR 3371, the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act.
“The aviation safety bill that Congress has sent to the White House this week is a welcome first step to making flying safer, but a good deal of work still remains to be done.
“This legislation brings much-needed improvements to aviation safety in the U.S. by addressing many of the pilot screening, training and certification issues that are the result of the airline industry’s intense focus on the lowest possible operating costs. We are gratified that Congress has recognized ALPA’s call to raise the safety bar for all airlines.
“ALPA has long advocated raising standards for commercial pilot screening and training, and the Association worked extensively with Congress following the tragic February 2009 Colgan Air crash and other recent regional airline accidents.
“However, this legislation is merely a first step in creating safer skies and leaves the industry with work left undone. Modernizing our air space and operations, improving runway safety, continuing necessary research to improve the warning systems to avoid volcanic ash and wind shear are just a few important issues left on the table. We urge Congress to complete work on a comprehensive FAA reauthorization bill before it adjourns for the year.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
CONTACT: Doug Baj 703/481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.