Safety regulator should be applauded!
RADNOR, PA - Business Travel Coalition (BTC) today applauded the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision to reconsider cargo carriers for inclusion in new pilot-scheduling rules issued in December 2011. Cargo carriers are currently inexplicably exempted from the rules which are designed to ensure pilots are rested when entering the cockpit.
FAA's original cost-benefit analysis projected that the rule, if applied to cargo carriers, would cost those firms some $20 million dollars per year. The same analysis valued the "statistical life" of a passenger at $6.2 million dollars.
BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell stated, "This analysis was flawed in the extreme. There was apparently little or no consideration of potentially fatigued cargo pilots flying, for example, into Miami airspace, or other highly congested areas, ferrying hazardous materials co-mingled with commercial aircraft in the air and busy taxi and cross-runways at the airports."
The preventable circumstances that led to a fatigued pilot and sick co-pilot to command the ill-fated Colgan Air flight that crashed near Buffalo, NY in February 2009 should have been a wake-up call not just for commercial air passenger services, but for the all-cargo industry as well.