Committee Corner
News from ALPA's Committees

Cargo Pilots' Committee Tackles Safety, Labor Issues

Presidents Committee For Cargo

F/O Frank Condefer (Northwest), ALPA President’s Committee for Cargo
Air Line Pilot, September 2004, p.27

The ALPA President’s Committee for Cargo (PCFC), meeting July 6–8 in Herndon, Va., made progress on a number of safety and labor issues confronting cargo pilots.

Following up on the National Transportation Safety Board’s Cargo Safety Symposium held in late March, the PCFC discussed the 47 specific recommendations that ALPA made during that 2-day meeting.

At the end of the NTSB Symposium, Safety Board Chairman Ellen Engleman-Connors had expressed the hope that the participants would work together to resolve safety issues raised during the Symposium. In that spirit, PCFC members took on five specific safety issues that the PCFC felt could be easily and quickly resolved:

 FAR Part 139 firefighting and rescue requirements for airports served by cargo flights—An important part of this effort will be to change the minimum requirement for mandating these safety services from nine passengers to a maximum gross takeoff weight of 33,000 pounds.

 Dangerous goods certification for critical personnel.

 ALAR (approach and landing accident reduction) toolkit—The Association will make air cargo carriers aware of this important training aid, which has been disseminated to passenger carriers worldwide and has helped to reduce accidents involving controlled flight into terrain.

 "NASA" naps—National Aeronautics and Space Administration research in recent years has shown that brief naps in the cockpit (if permitted under certain specific, controlled circumstances) can significantly reduce flightcrew fatigue. At least two cargo carriers whose pilots are represented by ALPA may be interested in seeking FAA approval for such inflight naps.

 Cargo smoke and fire suppression.

The PCFC briefed ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth, on the Committee’s efforts to stop an FAA/industry Aviation Rulemaking Committee from broadening the applicability of FAR Part 135 to permit smaller cargo airplanes to operate under those more permissive regulations instead of under FAR Part 121.

ALPA staff attorneys presented to the PCFC a two-part document that deals with issues cargo pilot groups may face in the event of a strike. The first part is a checklist of items for an MEC to consider when defining "struck work" in the context of a work stoppage by a cargo pilot group. The second part of the document contains sample contract language recognizing pilots’ rights to engage in concerted support for another employee group that is on strike and protecting pilots who choose to take part in such activities.

Because of this information’s sensitive nature, it will not be publicly available, but MEC officers and key committee members for cargo pilot groups may access it through the Association’s Representation Department.

For more information on air cargo issues, see "Flight Time/Duty Time for Air Cargo," page 18.