2018 FAA Reauthorization Brings Major Advocacy Victories

On October 3, 2018, the U.S. Congress approved a bipartisan, five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that will keep flying safe and the piloting profession strong. The bill addressed many of ALPA’s long-term advocacy priorities, all of which ALPA members and staff had tirelessly advocated for through meetings with Members of Congress, Calls to Action, targeted advertising, and other grassroots efforts.

First Officer Qualifications

Despite the efforts of special-interest groups to roll back these important safety standards, the FAA bill maintains life-saving first officer qualification, training, and experience requirements—which were enacted after the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that pilot experience and training were factors in several fatal airline accidents.

Letters Sent to Congress: 29,729

Single-Pilot Operations

The House-passed version of the FAA reauthorization had included a dangerous provision for the government to fund a program to research and implement single-pilot operations for commercial airliners. ALPA took swift action to raise public awareness about this incredibly dangerous provision, which was removed before the final bill was passed, ensuring the presence of two fully qualified pilots in the cockpit of every FAR Part 121 passenger and cargo aircraft.

Letters Sent to Congress: 81,330

Mandatory Secondary Barriers

One of ALPA’s longest running advocacy campaigns called for the mandatory installation of physical secondary barriers on every commercial airliner—a low-cost solution to reduce the risk of cockpit intrusions. Congress finally listened, and the 2018 FAA bill mandates secondary cockpit barriers on new manufactured passenger airliners, a major step forward in aviation security.

Letters Sent to Congress: 14,134

The Fight Is Never Over

Thank you to all ALPA members, staff, family, friends, and other supporters of safe skies and the piloting profession for participating in our many Calls to Action and grassroots campaigns on these three issues over the years. 

While these are major victories for the safety of our skies, special-interest groups trying to undermine safety for the sake of profits and other looming threats mean our work is never done. ALPA will continue to monitor these and other issues, and we know we can count on our allies to join the fight when we need you.