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November 21, 2003
ALPA Gets FAA Interpretation Creating Pilot "Do Not Call" List
WASHINGTON, D.C.---It’s bad enough when telemarketers interrupt your dinner to sell you phone service or real estate, but if you’re an airline pilot trying to get your legally required rest between flights, a phone call from your employer, waking you from a sound sleep to ask if you would be willing to reschedule your flying, may leave you wishing for the airline equivalent of a "do not call" list.
Well, thanks to a request by the Air Line Pilots Association, the FAA has just done exactly that. In a ruling sent to ALPA earlier this month, the FAA notified the pilots union that if a pilot informs his company that he does not want to be called during required rest periods, any telephone call to him from the company will constitute a break in the requisite minimum, uninterrupted rest period. This effectively requires airlines to maintain a "do not call list" for their own pilots.
There’s a stiff penalty for violating the "do not call" rule. The clock for the rest period is reset to zero. For example, if a pilot is called four hours into a scheduled eight-hour rest, he must then be given eight uninterrupted hours starting from the time of the phone call violation.
As part of its ruling, the FAA also said that even if a pilot had not asked to be put on a do not call list, airlines are limited to one contact with the pilot.
ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest pilot union, represents 66,000 airline pilots at 42 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Additional information, including the full text of the FAA letter, is available at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA CONTACT: John Mazor (703) 481-4440