February 7, 2014
ALPA Stands by Its Safety Oversight Concerns with Respect to NAI’s Operating Plan
WASHINGTON—Today, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) issued the following statement responding to the Irish Aviation Authority’s (IAA) public statement asserting that ALPA has made erroneous claims regarding the IAA’s safety regulatory performance and capability.
“We have seen the recent release from the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and believe that they have misinterpreted our statements. ALPA has the utmost respect for the IAA and for the professionalism that IAA exhibits, and we applaud them for their record on aviation safety. This professionalism was never in question. What remains unanswered, however, is how will the IAA provide safety oversight of an air operator certificate (AOC) for an airline that doesn't fly to or from Ireland?
“Norwegian Air International (NAI) is not Ryanair; it is not Aer Lingus. It is a Norwegian-owned airline that, while incorporated in Ireland, apparently will have its flight operations entirely outside of Ireland. We would note the recent accident investigation report issued by the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) regarding the February 10, 2011, SA227 accident in Cork. In this accident, an aircraft operating between Dublin City and Cork [Ireland] crashed while attempting to land. The aircraft was registered in Spain and operated under a Spanish AOC but did not operate from or through Spain. The AAIU found that the lack of proper oversight of the carrier by the regulator that issued the AOC was a factor in the accident. It is this challenge—the challenge posed by regulating an operator that does not provide air services to the territory of the regulator—that must be satisfactorily addressed in connection with NAI.
“Norwegian’s operating scheme also violates both the spirit and the intent of the 2010 U.S.-EU open skies agreement that expanded aviation trade but expressly rejected any use of the expanded rights in this pact to ‘lower labor standards.’ For these reasons and more, ALPA calls on the U.S. Department of Transportation to reject NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 50,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or Media@alpa.org
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