Don’t Wait Another Four Years to Fix the Cargo Carveout


Every four years, a leap year occurs to help sync the calendar year with the solar year. As we mark the first leap year in this new decade, it’s more important than ever that we help sync fatigue rules for U.S. cargo pilots with those pilots who fly for passenger airlines.

For decades, ALPA has advocated for One Level of Safety for the simple reason that a tired pilot is a tired pilot, regardless of payload. However, in 2011, when new fatigue rules were being implemented, airline financial interests and political pressure caused cargo pilots to be excluded from the regulations, creating a substandard level of safety. Despite this “cargo carveout,” there is no scientific basis for the separation of pilot duty and rest rules based on the type of operations they fly. Cargo pilots fly the same aircraft types, over the same routes, in the same airspace, and into the same airports as pilots of passenger airlines, and substandard levels of safety in regulations put the traveling public at risk.

To correct this situation, Congress recently introduced the Safe Skies Act that would apply the same flight, duty, and rest rules to cargo flights as commercial airlines to prevent the dangers posed by fatigued pilots. On the day it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, ALPA stood shoulder to shoulder with cargo pilots from across the industry, as a united force with one united voice in support of the bill.

ALPA has been committed to achieving One Level of Safety for all for decades and will not stop until these science-based rules apply to all airline pilots. Join us in promoting One Level of Safety for all airline pilots and stress the importance of the Safe Skies Act by reaching out to your Member of Congress now to ask them to cosponsor S. 826/H.R. 5170.

Categories: Advocacy
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