Release #: 17.30
June 27, 2017
ALPA Backs Safety Gains and Fair Competition in U.S. House FAA Reauthorization
WASHINGTON—Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today issued the following statement regarding H.R. 2997, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act.
“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l commends the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) for crafting a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that contributes to the safety of air transportation in the United States and helps level the playing field for American aviation workers. The bill upholds training, qualification, and experience requirements for first-year airline pilots that were initially adopted in 2010 as part of the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act—changes that have led to safer skies.
“ALPA is also pleased that the bill includes one of its top priorities––preventing flag-of-convenience business models from undermining fair competition. We appreciate the longstanding leadership of the Flags of Convenience Don't Fly Here Act (H.R. 2150) sponsors, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.). The LoBiondo amendment, which was adopted by voice vote, clarifies existing law by identifying the flag-of-convenience business model as a potentially disqualifying condition for an airline seeking a U.S. foreign air carrier permit. The measure defends U.S. aviation workers against foreign carriers’ shopping the globe for cheap labor while upholding the letter and spirit of our Open Skies agreement with the European Union.
“H.R. 2997 also advances other ALPA aviation safety goals, including mandating secondary cockpit barriers in new aircraft. We thank Reps. André Carson (D-Ind.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) for their commitment to enhancing aviation safety and security by sponsoring the amendment to address an existing vulnerability to the security of the aircraft flight deck.
“ALPA has long called for additional regulations to ensure the safe shipment of lithium batteries. We are pleased that H.R. 2997 requires the United States to harmonize its regulations with international standards for transporting lithium batteries.
“The bill also protects voluntary safety reporting data to help detect and address threats before accidents occur, funds the Essential Air Service program to help provide air service to rural communities, and addresses aircraft cybersecurity. In addition, the reauthorization supports long-standing pilot assistance programs.
“ALPA supports the goal of restructuring our nation’s air traffic control system in order to provide the predictable, long-term funding needed to continue modernizing the system. Chairman Shuster's proposal provides for a safe structure to achieve this goal.
“While H.R. 2997 puts the priority on safety, ALPA pilots will watch closely as this bill moves forward. We will aggressively fight any attempt on the House floor or in the Senate to weaken fair competition for U.S. aviation workers or the first officer qualification and training rules that have made flying safer for all who depend on air transportation in the United States.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org