Cockpit Voice Recorder Legislation Opposed By CAPA
March 10, 2010.
The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) which represents
over 28,000 pilots, strongly opposes legislation introduced by Senator
Jim DeMint (R-SC) (S.3048) to allow the use of Cockpit Voice Recorders
(CVR’s) as a means of punishing airline pilots found to be violating
sterile cockpit and other established procedures while flying.
language would turn back the clock on every safety improvement the
industry has attained in the last fifteen years of voluntary aviation
safety programs. Neither the FAA nor NTSB supports the use of these
devices as in-flight monitoring and disciplinary tools. The NTSB
supports routine downloading of CVR data for use in voluntary safety
Although, they specifically stated that for this information to be useful as a tool in mitigating aircraft incidents and accidents it should be de-identified to protect the confidentiality of the crewmembers and airlines involved.
Since its’ development as an accident investigation tool, CVR’s have always been a forensic method to determine causal matters related to aircraft accidents. Expanding their uses to include the “real time” monitoring and punishment of pilots is misguided, and to expect airline flight crews to work in such an environment as a means of enhancing aviation safety is wrong.
Such a measure would actually harm flight safety by suppressing the
necessary communications required to effectively manage the cockpit.
CAPA’s President, “This bill would destroy voluntary safety reporting
programs such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and the
Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)” said Captain Paul Onorato.
“It would also reduce safety in commercial airline operations by
inhibiting the free flow of information required to evaluate and improve
system performance; these programs in use by some airlines have led to
the evolution of a mature and improved safety culture among the major US
Airlines and must not be abandoned”, he added.
CAPA calls on all each member of the Senate to strongly oppose any
measure by Sen. DeMint and others to effect this change and irreparably
harm our aviation safety system in
Below is a
copy of Legislation (S.3048) by Senator Jim DeMint. At this time DeMint
has no cosponsors.
Feb 26, 2010 -
Introduced in Senate. This is the original text of the bill as it was
written by its sponsor and submitted to the Senate for consideration.
This is the latest version of the bill.
S 3048 IS 111th
CONGRESS 2d Session S. 3048
To improve air
safety by authorizing the limited use by air carriers of information
collected through cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders, to
prohibit tampering with such devices, and for other purposes.
In The Senate Of
To improve air safety by authorizing the limited use by air
carriers of information collected through cockpit voice recorders and
flight data recorders, to prohibit tampering with such devices, and for
Be it enacted by
the Senate and House of Representatives of the
Section 1. Short
Title: This Act may be
cited as the ‘Pilot Professionalism Assurance Act’.
SEC. 2. USE OF
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, or any provision in a
private contract, air carriers may use information obtained from a
cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder--
(1) To discipline
or discharge a pilot or flight engineer for actions that endanger the
safety or well being of passengers;
(2) To defend
itself in any discipline or discharge grievance proceeding;
(3) To evaluate or
monitor the judgment or performance of an individual pilot or crew
(4) To justify or
require a pilot’s submission to a proficiency check or line check; or
(5) For any other
purpose relating to improving the safety or well being of passengers.
Confidentiality- Each air carrier that has obtained information pursuant
to subsection (a) shall keep such information confidential and may only
disclose such information to the extent required in an administrative or
SEC. 3. TAMPERING
WITH COCKPIT VOICE RECORDER OR FLIGHT DATA RECORDER PROHIBITED.
(a) In General- No
person may tamper with, disable, or destroy any cockpit voice recorder
or flight data recorder installed on a commercial aircraft.
(1) IN GENERAL-
Any person who violates the prohibition described in subsection (a) may
be fined up to $2,000 and imprisoned for not more than 5 years.
PILOT- If a commercial pilot violates the prohibition described in
(A) The air
carrier employing such pilot shall immediately terminate such
(B) The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall immediately revoke the airman certificate issued to the pilot under section 44703 of title 49, United States Code.
(see NTSB Wants Cockpit Conversations Monitored) (ALPA Cockpit Monitoring Legislation Threatens Safety)
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