Checking in on NTSB’s Most Wanted List

As the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held its midpoint progress report today on their top 10 most wanted improvements to transportation safety, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) reiterated calls for additional important safety recommendations.

ALPA has long recognized the dedicated efforts by the NTSB to improve the safety of our skies. Their leadership and guidance has established priorities that aviation stakeholders can work together to advance, creating an industry-wide collaborative movement which has played a vital role in making aviation the safest mode of transportation.

One issue of shared concern is the safe shipment of hazardous materials. It is ALPA’s continuing position that the shipment of lithium batteries by air poses a significant safety threat unless adequate mitigations are in place. We remain hopeful that with the increased attention to this issue by the NTSB, legislators and policy makers will adopt international standards that help reduce safety risks created when hazardous materials are shipped by air.

Additionally, ALPA urges the NTSB to make recommendations that will address threats to the national airspace system caused by unmanned aircraft operations. NTSB’s decision to investigate a recent collision between a hobbyist-operated drone and an Army helicopter provides an opportunity to recommend that Congress allow the Federal Aviation Administration to fully regulate all unmanned aircraft operations.

ALPA encourages the NTSB to add non-conforming operations of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the most wanted list next year. This recent incident, along with one in Canada, have shown the threat that these new entrants pose to the national airspace system. The NTSB’s ability to highlight and advocate for the safe operation of UAS would bring much needed visibility to this important safety issue.

ALPA remains committed to working with the NTSB on addressing issues that could threaten the safety and security of airline passengers and flight crews. The United States has long maintained a global reputation as a leader in aviation safety, and it’s imperative that we continue all efforts to ensure that we uphold that standing.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety