By Tim Canoll, ALPA President
On this day seven years ago, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed near Buffalo, N.Y., killing all 49 persons aboard, plus one on the ground. In the aftermath of this tragic accident, questions swirled, and the airline industry was put under a microscope.
At the conclusion of the official investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began to develop new pilot fatigue and first officer qualification and training rules. During this process, the FAA invited industry, labor, and government to work together on the effort to enhance safety. Through these collaborative and cohesive efforts, new regulations were implemented.
By ALPA Staff
After the House of Representatives introduced its FAA reauthorization bill last week, ALPA quickly voiced our opposition to several components of the draft legislation, including the failure to properly and appropriately regulate the transportation and packaging of lithium batteries by air.
By Capt. Tim Canoll
The proposed FAA reauthorization bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week falls significantly short for airline passengers and air cargo shippers when it comes to advancing the high standards that make air transportation in the United States so extraordinarily safe.
A key reason for the extraordinary safety of our system is our commitment to providing airline pilots with the highest standards of training and qualification. Today’s first officer qualification and training requirements were prompted by Congress in 2010 following four fatal airline accident investigations that identified the pilots’ lack of training as a factor in the accidents. These regulations weren’t arbitrary, nor were they sudden––the safety-focused rules came out of an industry-wide effort led by representatives of the regional airlines. We are pleased the sponsors of the House FAA reauthorization bill recognize the importance of these regulations and agree that they must remain firmly in place. ALPA will vigorously oppose any attempts to change this regulation via amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill.
By Capt. Tim Canoll
Flightcrew members across North America know the benefits of being represented by the world’s largest pilot union. In Canada, pilots from Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, and Wasaya are active ALPA advocates for aviation safety and security.
ALPA pilots are committed to improving issues that affect the Canadian aviation sector. Last fall, the elections in Canada resulted in a unique opportunity to help create a better business environment and improve the overall state of the industry. In December, some of those recently elected representatives, as well as established government representatives and industry stakeholders, gathered in Ottawa for an annual ALPA event, which gave us a perfect opportunity to discuss our upcoming priorities in Canada with key officials.
By Captain Jerry Timmerman, Delta B737
Fifteen years ago, at the end of a prosperous decade, our planet was thrown into chaos when four U.S. passenger airplanes were hijacked and turned into missiles. Emotional, economic, and enduring scars from September 11th, 2001 are with us still. As a country, we vowed then to never let such a tragedy happen again, which is why we must mandate secondary barriers on all commercial passenger aircraft now.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, we upgraded our security systems. Cultural and physical changes were made, studied, adjusted, and re-implemented in order to create the risk-based, layered security approach we have now. Today, we have hardened cockpit doors, Transportation Security Officers at every entrance point, and the Federal Flight Deck Officers program, but we still lack one key layer in our aviation security structure: mandatory secondary barriers.