New Contract holds Promise for Retaining & Attracting Pilots, but will the Commuting Flexibility add to Fatigue Concerns?

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ARTICLE: Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 and Silver Airways Partner to Begin Addressing Pilot Shortage

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As noted here, there is a need for novel approaches to the oft-cited shortage of pilots. This space has actively encouraged initiatives from aviation to fill this anticipated void.

There are examples of foreign entities coming to the US to train their foreign crews. One association has announced a special task force to develop new ideas . The linked article points to a joint management/labor approach.

Silver Airways and its pilot union, the Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 (Local 1224) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division (IBTAD), have signed an agreement , which they believe will help attract the supply of cockpit professionals to meet this need. The primary basis of their conclusion that the agreement will address the shortage problem is an increase in salary for the union members. Yes, a better salary will alter career decisions of prospective new pilots. The bonus for existing Silver pilots will retain the company’s base.

The second element for attracting new cockpit crew members depends on granting the pilots enhanced commuting and schedule flexibility. That provision may increase the potential pool of women and men who manipulate the controls, BUT it may also exacerbate a very serious problem.

As reminded recently by a question posed by Rep. Coble in a recent Aviation Subcommittee hearing, the FAA’s rationale for tightening the rules applicable to duty time was the fatigue of the crew of the Colgan Air Crash . Depending on how the contract terms are written, adding to commuting flexibility could actually exacerbate the problem. As recognized in a speech by the FAA Deputy Administrator , the responsibility to assure that a crewmember presents herself or himself for duty in a state prepared for the flight schedule is borne by the professionals who then flies the aircraft.

Hopefully the IBTAD has a program like that presented by ALPA which prepares their members for their personal duties when they declare themselves ready for flight.

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1 Comment on "New Contract holds Promise for Retaining & Attracting Pilots, but will the Commuting Flexibility add to Fatigue Concerns?"

  1. ALPA says the answer to the shortage is HIGHER pay–http://skift.com/2014/02/07/pilots-union-says-there-wouldnt-be-a-pilot-shortage-if-pay-was-higher/

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