Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hot off the press: FAA's new report on airline safety and pilot training

by B. N. Sullivan

FAA logoToday the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a report titled Answering the Call to Action on Airline Safety and Pilot Training. It's a hefty document -- a 201-page 'pdf' file [link below].

This new report is the result of efforts undertaken in the wake of the crash last February of Continental Connection Flight 3407, a Colgan Air Bombardier Dash-8 Q400, near Buffalo, NY. During the NTSB hearing on the investigation of that accident, and subsequent congressional hearings, certain issues came to light regarding pilot training and qualifications, flight crew fatigue, and consistency of safety standards among airline operators. As a result, officials initiated "a Call to Action on Airline Safety and Pilot Training for FAA, air carriers, and labor organizations to jointly identify and implement safety improvements."

In a press release that accompanied the release of today's report, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt explained, "The report lays out our initial actions to improve and revise pilot training and to develop an effective pilot fatigue rule. We also share what we have done to begin what must be an ongoing dialogue with airlines and unions to strengthen professionalism in the aviation industry and create mentoring programs for our nation’s pilots. This report is a snapshot of our work, which is by no means finished."

Although the work is ongoing, the report issued today reviews the findings to date, and presents action plans for issues such as fatigue rulemaking, crew training, mentoring, safety oversight, etc.

Here is the link to the report: Answering the Call to Action on Airline Safety and Pilot Training - FAA, (201-page 'pdf' document)

RELATED: ALPA Congressional Testimony on Regional Air Carriers and Pilot Workforce Issues - AircrewBuzz.com, June 14, 2009