15-Oct-2009 4:32 PM

House approves new Airline Safety Act

US House of Representatives approved (15-Oct-2009) a bipartisan legislation to bring a single level of safety to air travel. The Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009, substantially increases airline pilot licensing requirements for regional and mainline airline pilots, as it:

  • Establishes an Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training Task Force;
  • Implements National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Recommendations;
  • Establishes New Pilot Training, Screening, Mentoring and Professional Development Standards;
  • Sets New Airline Training Requirements;
  • Establishes a Pilot Records Database;
  • Addresses Issues of Fatigue;
  • Creates Voluntary Safety Programs;
  • Orders a Study of Flight Schools, Flight Education, and Pilot Academic Training. [more]

House of Representatives: “This legislation was developed as a result of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, where 50 people tragically perished outside of Buffalo, New York on February 12, 2009, and subsequent hearings by the Aviation Subcommittee. The accident serves as a reminder that we must maintain constant vigilance over airline safety. This bill ensures that pilots flying for regional and mainline air carriers are trained to the highest standards, and requires all airline pilots, including first officers, to hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which requires pilots to have a minimum of 1,500 flight hours. Currently, a first officer on a commercial passenger flight only needs a Commercial Pilot certificate, which requires 250 flight hours, or as few as 190 in some cases. The ATP certificate also requires additional aeronautical knowledge, crew resource management training and greater flight proficiency testing". Rep. James L. Oberstar, Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Source: House of Representatives, 15-Oct-2009.

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