WASHINGTON, D.C.—- The following statement was issued today by the Air Line Pilots Association in response to a bill introduced by Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Aviation Subcommittee, that would authorize the arming and training of pilots who fly cargo airliners:
ALPA applauds the action by Representatives Mica, Young, and DeFazio to allow pilots of cargo airliners to participate in the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program. ALPA worked closely with the chairmen and ranking member to craft language to close a loophole in the previous legislation that authorized the arming and training of pilots of passenger airliners, but not cargo pilots.
Because government mandates to beef up security in the air cargo segment of the industry have lagged far behind the fixes ordered for passenger operations since 9/11, pilots of cargo airliners are at greater risk and need the added security of the FFDO program. The Association will work closely with the Congress for swift enactment of this greatly needed improvement to aviation security.
ALPA, the world’s oldest and largest pilot union, represents 66,000 airline pilots at 42 carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Its Web site, http://www.alpa.org, provides links to further information on airline security issues.