September 7, 2011
Clock Is Ticking: Congress Must Pass FAA
Further Delay Threatens Safety of Air Transportation
WASHINGTON – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), called on Congress today to pass a multi-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill to maintain the nation’s high level of aviation safety and end the risk to thousands of aviation employees’ jobs if the current extension is allowed to expire on September 16.
“It is time to get serious and put the safety of aviation in the United States ahead of partisan politics,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president, following a news conference held today by ALPA at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. “We are in critical need of a real bill that will provide the necessary funding to enhance the future safety and efficiency of our aviation system.”
In failing to pass a long-term reauthorization, Congress put on hold safety projects and research programs that will help protect all who depend on safe air transportation. Vital initiatives including research into volcanic ash hazards, wake turbulence, alternative fuels, and windshear warning systems and efforts to make flying in icing conditions and operating aircraft on busy runways safer have come to a halt.
Moreover, the lack of stable, long-term FAA funding has stalled critical work to modernize and upgrade the current air traffic control system to increase capacity and enhance efficiency. As a result, the United States may not be well positioned to meet future air transportation demand, and our country risks falling behind Europe and Asia as those regions continue to move ahead. The U.S. airline industry may find itself at an economic disadvantage in the global air transport arena.
“The Air Line Pilots Association urges Congress to get on track and act now to pass a long-term, multi-year FAA reauthorization bill,” concluded Capt. Moak. “The jobs of thousands of hard-working Americans, the safety of every passenger on every airplane, and the future of the U.S. airline industry depend on it.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 39 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org