USAPA Supports Air Traffic Controllers' Efforts To Mitigate Controller Fatigue


  Bookmark and Share

USAPA Supports Air Traffic Controllers' Efforts To Mitigate Controller Fatigue

By Daniel Baxter

June 7, 2011 - The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA), representing the pilots of US Airways, offered strong support for the efforts of our nation's professional air traffic controllers, represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), to implement a comprehensive and non-punitive fatigue mitigation policy to enhance the safety of the United States' National Airspace System (NAS).

USAPA believes that recent aviation events involving both air traffic controllers and airline pilots have highlighted the need for substantive changes regarding safety in our national aviation system.

USAPA supports the fellow union members at NATCA as they advocate for the highest standards of professionalism and work with the FAA to reduce the effects of fatigue.

"We have long been advocates for a science-based reworking of the antiquated rest rules for airline pilots," said Captain Mike Cleary, president of USAPA.

"Although the FAA will be issuing new rules on a congressionally-mandated timeline shortly, we are disturbed by the continued pressure applied to the rulemaking process from airline management lobby groups, which is causing an undue focus on costs. We cannot place a price on the safety of our passengers' lives. The same science-based approach must also be used when addressing air traffic controller fatigue."

"We support the FAA?s recent action to enhance aviation safety by eliminating single staffing on the midnight shift," said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. "However, these changes barely scratch the surface of the problem. The work of the joint NATCA-FAA fatigue workgroup over the past 18 months has produced 12 recommendations based on established scientific research and data and health practices.

?There is nothing groundbreaking about these recommendations. They are common sense solutions to a safety problem NATCA and fatigue experts have consistently raised for years while past administrations turned a blind eye. The recommendations are based on advice from NASA and the military and are in line with international air traffic control best practices.


?If we are serious about addressing controller fatigue, then every recommendation must be adopted and implemented. Congress must also finally pass the FAA Reauthorization, which is now in its 19th extension. This legislation includes a number of provisions addressing fatigue. Our passengers and fellow crew members are depending upon the FAA and the unions to work cooperatively to protect the sanctity of our aviation safety system," President Cleary added. "We can only do that if that cooperation remains untainted by the economic interests that work to the detriment of a safer system."


USAPA is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., the US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) represents the more than 5,000 mainline pilots who fly for US Airways. USAPA's mission is to ensure safe flights for airline passengers by guaranteeing that their lives are in the hands of only the most qualified, competent and well-equipped pilots.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)


Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ?AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator