Release #: 18.13
May 17, 2018

ALPA Turns Up the Heat on Effort to Remove Dangerous Provision from FAA Bill

Single-Pilot Operations Would Compromise Aviation Safety and Security

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) announced today that its Executive Board unanimously supported a resolution authorizing “the President to use the full force and resources of the Association” to remove Section 744 from the final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, now moving through the Senate, which calls for research and development on the use of remote operations or computer piloting technology to replace pilots in cargo operations.

Addressing Executive Board members, Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA president, said, “At the eleventh hour and with no advanced notice, a dangerous provision was inserted into the House FAA Reauthorization bill by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee to push for single-piloted and computer-piloted operations of cargo airliners. No notice, no testimony, no deliberation. This is an attack on our profession, passenger and cargo operations alike.  Now, let me be perfectly clear: ALPA will use every resource we have to ensure that this anti-safety provision is not enacted.”

Current technology simply cannot fully detect, replicate, or report the sensory information—the sounds, smells, and vibrations—that a flight crew depends on to operate safely. Additionally, ALPA has significant concerns about cybersecurity, as well as communication delays between a pilot on the plane and a pilot on the ground.

The resolution adopted by ALPA’s Executive Board says that the single-pilot operations provision poses an “existential threat to aviation safety and security, the general public, and the airline piloting profession,” and the Board authorized spending significant additional resources on advocacy efforts to ensure that a final FAA reauthorization bill does not include this provision.

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