Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 3 seconds.
Today, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) president Capt. Jason Ambrosi urged aviation leaders to work together to make the airline industry safer and stronger. At a speech before the Aero Club of Washington, Ambrosi—leader of the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization—urged attendees to continue to prioritize safety as Congress reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Every person and stakeholder organization gathered here today is part of the solution for the U.S. airline industry to be stronger together,” said Ambrosi. “When it comes to the upcoming FAA reauthorization: pilot production is up, the fatality rate is down, and our skies are the safest in the world. We did that working together. Together, we can keep flying as extraordinarily safe as it is now while cultivating a strong pilot pipeline for the future. As an industry, we are stronger together.”
During his remarks, Ambrosi decried attempts to exploit false claims of a pilot shortage in order to lower the safety standards that have made the U.S. the gold standard for aviation safety.
“There is no excuse for multiple attempts to weaken the safety standards that make flying the safest form of transportation. Promoting false claims about pilot supply as simply a reason to roll back safety are also unacceptable. These efforts are dangerous, particularly when it comes to first officer qualification, experience, and training requirements. I was honored and humbled to join the Flight 3407 Families in Clarence Center, New York, in February to mark the 14th anniversary of a crash in which 50 people died—and that also moved this nation to act. To act to make flying safer. To raise the bar on pilot training. To do all we can to prevent another Flight 3407 tragedy from ever happening again,” Ambrosi said.
Ambrosi noted the steps that airlines, lawmakers, and pilots can take together to open doors to the next generation of aviators without sacrificing safety, including:
- Providing student loans for appropriate flight training programs,
- Establishing grants to build flight training and education degree programs at minority-serving institutions, including historically Black colleges and universities,
- Increasing funding for the Workforce Development Grant Program,
- Making the Women in Aviation Advisory Board a permanent body focused on increasing and supporting women in the profession, and
- Passing the Flight Education Access Act and AIR PUMP Act currently being considered by Congress.
“As passengers return to flying, the United States has more than enough airline pilots to meet demand. In fact, many airlines are hiring pilots, which means pilots are leaving less-attractive positions for more-promising careers at other employers. However, just because we have more than enough pilots now doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do more to open the doors of opportunity to everyone who holds the passion, talent, and qualifications to become an airline pilot. In the upcoming FAA reauthorization, we believe Congress can build on the strength of America’s aviation workforce, maintain safety, and break down the cost barriers for all those who aspire to fly,” Ambrosi added.
Read Capt. Ambrosi’s full speech.
This press release was prepared and distributed by ALPA