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Call for same work, rests for cargo pilots as for passenger jet pilots

FOUR US congressmen have tabled proposed legislation that that demands the same rules for cargo pilots, as passenger jet pilots

Call for same work, rests for cargo pilots as for passenger jet pilots

FOUR US congressmen have tabled proposed legislation that that demands the same rules for cargo pilots, as passenger jet pilots

05 December 2019 - 19:00

FOUR US congressmen have tabled proposed legislation that that demands the same rules for cargo pilots, as passenger jet pilots.

In 2014, the US tightened rules for pilots employed by passenger carriers in response to the investigation into the crash of a commuter aircraft in 2009 that killed 50 people, reported London's Loadstar.



Fatigue was identified as one of the reasons for the tragedy and the new rules reduced the maximum work day for flight crews from 16 hours to 14 and imposed a 10-hour break before a pilot can fly again, including eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.



However, cargo pilots were excluded from the new rules because the authorities followed the operators' argument that they would be hit disproportionately hard by the proposed rules, since most of their flying occurs during the night.



When the congressmen tabled their Safe Skies Act, they were joined by pilot union representatives of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.



'Airline pilots are affected by fatigue, regardless of whether we fly passengers or freight. It is time for Congress to pass the Safe Skies Act and ensure one level of safety for all airline operations,' ALPA president captain Joe DePete was quoted as saying.



'Based on statistics, if the accident rate of all-cargo operations was applied to passenger operations, there would be an additional 277 accidents within 10 years. That is not acceptable.'



Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association president Stan Bernstein disagrees: 'RACCA sees no need to make any changes to the current regulations.'



The Safe Skies Act resumes a battle that started when the dual regime came into effect in 2014. That year, the National Transportation Safety Board barred UPS and the International Pilots Association from the investigation into the causes of the crash of UPS flight 1354 the year before, after the union had issued a statement giving its own analysis of the likely causes, which prompted the integrator to post a response on a website.


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