“Thanks to the families of Flight 3407, our skies have been safe for the last seven years because of enhanced training requirements”, Collins said.
Despite assertions by regional airlines that pilot shortages are starting to result in flight cancellations, overall capacity is still growing.
The requirement that all commercial pilots obtain a license based on 1,500 hours of flight experience “imposes costs that exceed benefits”, the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee said in a report that its members approved in a 21-4 vote at a Thursday meeting.
The FAA adopted the rule on pilot qualification at Congress’ direction after the last fatal crash of a USA passenger airliner in 2009.
One of the rules that could be on the chopping block is one requiring first officers have at least 15-hundred hours of flying experience.
Critics say the suggested change compromises quality and safety.
“Any rollback of the 1,500 hour rule in future FAA legislation is a non-starter”, said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat. “It’s working so effectively and try and water it down”, said John Kausner, whose daughter died on board Flight 3407. “We don’t do that”. Among the most prominent is a new report which recommends rolling back pilot qualification rules.
The industry said there’s a pilot shortage, but Schumer said the issue is not excessive training but what the airlines pay. “What happened with 34-7 was there was ice on the wings and one of the levers jammed”. Pilot training concessions come at the expense of human life. “I will fight with Senator Schumer to block this unsafe change to the rules, and I urge all of my colleagues from both parties to stand with the incredible Flight 3407 families, who have fought tirelessly to achieve one level of safety for everyone”.
Schumer, meanwhile, said while the airlines have their lobbyists, his side includes the families of Flight 3407’s victims.
Faye Malarkey Black, president of the regional airline association, said the proposed changes would incorporate more meaningful education into pilot training than mere flight hours. “You’re not going to get many people to be pilots when you can make more flipping hamburgers at McDonalds”.