February 24, 2005
Pilots Union: FAA Must Block Misuse of Cockpit Data Information
ALPA Welcomes Efforts to Improve Safety Data Quality
WASHINGTON, D.C.- Capt. Terry McVenes, Executive Air Safety Chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), has issued the following statement on the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) announcement that it will seek to improve the amount and quality of aviation safety data.
"The Air Line Pilots Association welcomes the FAA's action to enhance flight safety information, however, the increased amount of data makes it more important than ever that the agency responds to the aviation industry's longstanding concerns about the abuse and misuse of flight safety data.
"Current legislation provides only limited protection against abuse and misuse of the information, and no rules exist to prevent airline management from using data for disciplinary action, rather than for enhancing aviation safety as was the original purpose.
"We know that recorded safety information has been misused and abused in the past and that these practices continue today--the need for decisive action to secure the information so that it is used exclusively for safety purposes could not be more urgent.
"Moreover, the FAA must lead by example by setting strong standards and working toward international agreements that safeguard recorded safety information regardless of where a flight takes off or lands.
"ALPA looks forward to working together with the FAA on these efforts to improve the quality of flight safety data and to enact protections against safety data misuse and abuse."
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world's largest pilot union, representing 64,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
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ALPA Contact: John Mazor or Linda Shotwell, 703-481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org