Release #: 18.09
April 16, 2018

Statement on FAA Reauthorization Language Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), released the following statement today on H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018:

“ALPA applauds the efforts of Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), committee ranking member, for their work on H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, released on Friday, which includes language that will promote aviation safety and ensure a more level playing field for U.S. airlines.

“ALPA’s 60,000 U.S. and Canadian pilots train for life to ensure the safety of our passengers, cargo, and crew every day and night. The Association is grateful to have bipartisan support for necessary safety measures included in the FAA reauthorization bill, such as those relating to the safe transport of lithium batteries, improvements to voluntary safety reporting programs, and a requirement for secondary barriers on all new passenger aircraft.

“Importantly, the bill rejects attempts to weaken the training and experience requirements for airline pilots, which would jeopardize the extraordinary safety record we’ve experienced since those standards were strengthened. There has not been a single fatality on a U.S. passenger carrier since those rules were put into law in 2010; in the preceding two decades, more than 1,100 people lost their lives in U.S. passenger airline crashes. The committee’s dedication to maintaining the integrity of pilot training should be commended. ALPA calls on Congress to adhere to this commitment as the reauthorization bill moves through the process and will oppose any amendment that would weaken or alter the training and qualification requirements for commercial airline pilots.

“H.R. 4 also addresses a serious threat to the future of the U.S. aviation industry and the future of the piloting profession by addressing flag-of-convenience schemes. Under this model, foreign airlines can skirt labor, tax, and safety laws by basing different pieces of their business in different countries, undermining fair competition and driving a race to the bottom. The U.S. maritime shipping industry has lost 97% of international seafaring jobs and dropped to just 2% of global tonnage since this model became pervasive in that industry. H.R. 4 includes the text of H.R. 2150, sponsored by Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA), and Drew Ferguson (R-GA), which will help ensure that flags-of-convenience are not allowed to destroy the U.S. airline industry in a similar way.

“The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 also takes a significant step forward in preventing a terrorist, or other individual intending to do harm, from breaching the cockpit door. ALPA has long advocated for secondary barriers—a common-sense lightweight, inexpensive wire mesh mounted between the flight deck door and the cabin, making it harder for an intruder to enter the flight deck and cause harm to the crew and passengers.

“We are disappointed with the inclusion of Section 744—a provision which would introduce significant aviation safety risks by promoting single-operator commercial cargo aircraft. This item was added within the Science, Space, and Technology Committee title and was not debated within the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. ALPA opposes the inclusion of Section 744 because it will undermine the safety of our airspace and urges Congress to reject this provision.

“ALPA believes that the provisions in this bill (except Section 744) will continue to ensure that American skies are the safest place on earth.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 60,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or