Tags: john thune | faa | pilot training hours | air safety dispute

FAA Pilot Training Requirements Part of Air Safety Dispute

FAA Pilot Training Requirements Part of Air Safety Dispute
Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, has attached to a long-term FAA funding bill a provision that expands the types of academic training courses that are eligible for credit toward training hours for pilots. 

By    |   Monday, 25 September 2017 09:33 AM

Air safety advocates and others are taking issue with calls to change pilot training rules and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) panel’s recommended cutbacks to some aviation regulations.

Minimum training requirements for commercial pilots are at issue, after an aviation bill increased the minimum hours of training from 250 to 1,500 for officers who want a commercial passenger airline license. Regional airlines say that rule has led to a pilot shortage, The Hill reported.

An airline industry panel approved a report that recommended rollbacks to aviation safety rules including the training requirement, The Hill reported.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, attached to a long-term FAA funding bill a provision that expands the types of academic training courses that are eligible for credit toward training hours, according to The Hill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other legislators threatened that FAA funding bill over the Thune provision. "There is a reason pilots often say FAA regulations are written in blood—if a pilot isn’t fully prepared to handle any unexpected weather or flying condition, human lives may be in jeopardy," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., according to The Hill.

Congress will vote on a short-term FAA extension that will not include the Thune provision, The Hill report said.

Opponents of the rule change are calling for the FAA to reject the panel’s recommended cutbacks, as well. "In the interest of government efficiency, we call on them to waste no time in giving these recommendations the treatment they rightfully deserve — a quick toss right into the circular file," said John Kausner, whose daughter lost her life in a 2009 Colgan air crash.

Thune said his amendment emphasizes quality over quantity of hours. Those in favor of that idea point out that the National Transportation Safety Board has concluded that more flight hours do not automatically mean safer pilots, The Hill report said.

An aviation attorney said that regulations work in regards to aviation.

"There is no reason to drop the flight-training requirement. You’re just going to see less experienced pilots put in emergency situations," said aviation attorney Steve Marks, according to The Hill.

Congress is expected to pass the short-term bill this week, according to the Washington Examiner. Lawmakers have not been able to work out a long-term deal, partly because of opposition to House Republican efforts to spin off air traffic control from the FAA, the Examiner reported.

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Air safety advocates and others are taking issue with calls to change pilot training rules and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) panel’s recommended cutbacks to some aviation regulations.
john thune, faa, pilot training hours, air safety dispute
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2017-33-25
Monday, 25 September 2017 09:33 AM
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