Release #: 17.32
June 29, 2017

ALPA Blasts Senate Action to Degrade Air Safety

FAA Reauthorization Amendment Will Endanger Passenger Safety

WASHINGTON––Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee’s passage of an amendment offered by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization.

“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l is extremely disappointed with today’s passage of an amendment in the Senate Commerce Committee that will weaken airline pilot training, qualification, and experience requirements put in place by Congress in 2010 to make flying safer in the wake of more than 30 airline accidents. Those who supported this amendment will be responsible for endangering the flying public, should it become law.

“ALPA commends fellow pilot, Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), for leading all the Democrats on the Committee to vote to reject the Thune amendment and maintain the integrity of our safety regulations.

“In the two decades before Congress passed the current pilot qualification requirements, more than 1,100 people were killed in airline passenger accidents. Since lawmakers acted, there have been no fatalities on U.S. passenger airlines (Part 121). The amendment, which was pushed for by profit-motivated special interests, threatens the safety of passengers and air cargo shippers across the nation.

“Currently, the United States has more than twice as many certified air transport pilots than there are professional pilot jobs. This amendment is being promoted by companies that are attempting an end run around the safety regulations in order to lower workforce costs and line their own pockets. Airline passengers want and deserve safe air transportation across the United States, including in rural and smaller communities like Pierre, South Dakota; Meridian, Mississippi; Joplin, Missouri; and North Platte, Nebraska.

“The traveling public should consider what these Senators have done to jeopardize safety. The zero-passenger-fatality record since these pilot qualification, experience, and training requirements were put in place speaks for itself. The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l will not let up on our drive to block any effort to erode the rules that have led to the safest time in history for U.S. airline passengers and cargo shippers. We hope in the coming weeks that we can work with members of the Senate and stakeholders to find avenues to strengthen and incentivize service to small and rural communities without compromising safety.”


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or