While the Regional Airline Association and regional airline management point to new rules governing flight time experience for first officers as the primary reason for a pilot shortage that has resulted in a loss of service to several U.S. communities, pilots contend the airlines have made their own mess by creating a business model predicated on breadline wages for cockpit crew. The Air Line Pilots Association, for one, argues that there’s no shortage of pilots, only a shortage of pilots willing to fly for substandard wages and inadequate benefits.
Air Line Pilots Association
Both the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) applauded last week’s announcement of new legislation in the U.S. Senate–S.1692, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)–to include cargo pilots in the new Part 117 flight and duty time regulations that take effect January 4 next year. FedEx pilots are ALPA members, while UPS pilots are represented by the IPA.
New work rules governing occupational safety and health conditions for cabin crew will become effective September 26. The new rules will apply to anyone working aboard any aircraft that legally requires a cabin crewmember, whether operating under Part 121, 135 or 91 rules.
While the Air Line Pilots Association has taken an unequivocal stance against the U.S. Justice Department’s attempt to block the merger of bankrupt American Airlines parent AMR and US Airways, at least one segment of the union–namely the unit representing the pilots of American’s wholly owned regional subsidiary–sees things a bit differently.
The pilots of U.S. regional airline American Eagle and the management of American Airlines merger partner US Airways have apparently reached an impasse in negotiations over a new contract, potentially delaying further an expected new regional jet order by the “new” American.
The management of American Airlines merger partner US Airways has advised American Eagle pilot leaders that it will not place an order for 76-seat regional jets for Eagle or any other regional airline that hasn’t formulated a plan to “trend toward” the cost structure introduced at wholly owned Delta Air Lines subsidiary Pinnacle Airlines, the head of the American Eagle Air Line Pilots Association unit told membership
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is fighting back against U.S. government cuts slated to slash funding for the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program, which trains pilots how to safely carry weapons aboard Part 121 aircraft.
“It is beyond belief that, at the same time the administration’s budget proposal [presented on April 10] recognizes the value of risk-based aviation security, it proposes to eliminate funding for this well established and extremely effective program,” said ALPA president Lee Moak in a statement last week.
The pilots of Pinnacle Airlines ratified a bankruptcy restructuring contract on Tuesday, thereby avoiding what could have proved a messy court battle with management and potentially saving the Memphis-based regional from liquidation. Eight-five percent of the pilots who cast ballots voted in favor of the agreement.
The just released flight crewmember duty and rest requirements docket, which includes an extensive cost-benefit analysis, shows that the FAA still plans to exclude U.S. cargo pilots from the new rule, due to take effect Jan. 4, 2014. The agency said the cost of compliance is greater than it earlier believed.
Bankrupt AMR moved a step closer to its goal of saving $1.25 billion a year in employee-related costs as the pilots of American Eagle voted last Monday to ratify a tentative agreement reached between their Air Line Pilots Association bargaining committee and airline management. Of the regional airline’s some 3,000 pilots, 85 percent cast ballots. Seventy percent of participating pilots voted in favor of the agreement.
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