Release #09.033
June 26, 2009

ALPA Commends FAA Action to Combat Pilot Fatigue
“Call to Action” Results Promise to Enhance Aviation Safety

WASHINGTON – This week’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announcement of plans to form an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to develop new standards for pilot flight time and rest is extremely encouraging in the decades-long push by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), to modernize the regulations as a fundamental step to address pilot fatigue.

“The FAA’s aggressive timeline and commitment to alleviating pilot fatigue is welcome news for airline pilots across the country,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “ALPA stands ready to work with the airlines and the regulators to create the innovative solutions we need to make a safe industry even safer.”

“Considering that the pilot flight-time and rest rules in use today were created more than 60 years ago, it becomes immediately clear that we need a swift and innovative approach to modernizing these standards,” said Prater.

ALPA also strongly supports the FAA administrator’s challenge to the industry to strengthen safety in other ways, namely the implementation of a code of ethics, formation of professional standards peer groups, and better utilization of programs such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP).

“ALPA was founded on the ‘Schedule with Safety’ motto and we are proud to verify that we are already fully compliant with FAA’s requests,” said Prater. “Today, we are asking every ALPA pilot to review our existing Code of Ethics and rededicate themselves to the highest professional standards that form the bedrock of our profession.” ALPA adopted its Code of Ethics in 1956. The Code has guided the Association’s work ever since.

Among ALPA’s formally chartered committees is the Professional Standards Committee, devoted to ensuring that all pilots maintain the highest standards of professional conduct. This key ALPA group, composed of dedicated pilot volunteers supported by full-time professional staff, coordinates ALPA’s professional standards activities at member airlines’ pilot groups. It also provides training and interaction with airline and industry professional standards practitioners.

Finally, ALPA has long maintained that voluntary, non-punitive safety reporting systems such as FOQA and ASAP are critical to bettering our already outstanding airline safety record.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.

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CONTACTS: Linda Shotwell, 703/481-4440 or