In a terrifying move, airlines are lobbying federal regulators to reduce cockpit staffing to one pilot.
“In the airline business, there are two cost factors the airlines can never control: fuel and labor. And as technology improves — and pilot salaries increase — there’s been a controversial move lately by the industry to try to amend what’s known as part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. That’s the federal air regulation that requires air carriers to have two pilots in the cockpit at all times.
The airlines have been quietly lobbying that the single-pilot approach would quickly solve the staffing problem caused by theand that technology has vastly improved to allow for safe operation of a single-pilot flight.
There’s language in a new bill now introduced in Congress — the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill — asking the Federal Aviation Administration to reconsider part 121 and to allow the use of a single pilot operation, first in cargo aircraft.
Not surprisingly, airline pilots are loudly protesting this idea, claiming that it would diminish a safety discipline and culture that has been responsible for the safest 25 years in commercial aviation in the history of aviation. Pilots unions argue it’s all about the airlines saving money and could compromise safety.”
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