Please Oppose the Inhofe Amendment to Weaken Pilot Fatigue Rules
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) I urge you to oppose Senator Inhofe’s amendment to the FAA Air Transportation and Modernization Safety Improvement Act (S. 223), which would exempt some all-cargo and charter air carriers from pending flight and duty time pilot regulations. This misguided amendment only serves to undermine recent progress made toward strengthening flight and duty time rest rules for all air carrier operations.
Pilot fatigue issues are of paramount concern for workers in the aviation industry. Current regulatory requirements dealing with rest and duty periods are inadequate, leaving pilots deprived of critically needed rest. It is not unusual for pilots to work long and irregular shifts across multiple time zones. In fact, flight crews are often forced to work right up to the FAA regulatory limit, with air carriers taking advantage of “reduced rest” provisions.
In response to growing concerns about pilot fatigue issues, the FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on Flight Crew Member Duty and Rest Requirements that would provide one level of safety for all air carriers. These rules, based on sound scientific principles, will address these safety concerns for all air carrier operations. It simply makes no sense to carve out a segment of the industry, placing these pilots at risk and jeopardizing the safety of our entire aviation system.
Transportation labor asks you to reject the Inhofe amendment when it is offered on the floor. Simply stated, this amendment undermines needed safety regulations. Please feel free to contact me or TTD Representative Mia Clarkson at 202/628-9262 if you have any questions or need additional information.