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Allied Pilots Association: “Bolster the Pilot Profession to Attract Future Aviators”

FORT WORTH, Texas (Sept. 13, 2018) — As the Federal Aviation Administration conducted its Aviation Workforce Symposium, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) cited the need to bolster the pilot profession to attract future aviators.

“In recent years, the pilot profession has been on an upward trajectory as our nation’s airline industry has recovered,” said Capt. Dan Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association. “It’s imperative that policymakers and those who manage our nation’s airlines understand the need to preserve and build on this progress. Otherwise, aspiring aviators will choose other occupations that offer a better return on investment.”

Carey also emphasized the importance of maintaining the current minimum first officer training and qualification requirements, which the FAA enacted after the tragic accident involving Colgan Air Flight 3407 nearly 10 years ago. These standards are largely credited with contributing to the current period of aviation safety.

“As we have seen time and again, there’s no substitute for having highly experienced, well-trained, fully qualified, and adequately rested pilots at the controls, particularly when something goes wrong,” he said. “Any attempt to weaken first officer training and qualification requirements would be terribly misguided.

“Instead, we should be focusing on making sure the profession remains an appealing long-term career choice and providing private-sector and government-backed financial assistance,” Carey said. “To that end, APA supports initiatives such as making it easier for U.S. military veterans to become airline pilots and making it more affordable to become an airline pilot.

“We applaud the FAA for its focus on ensuring that our nation maintains a sufficient supply of pilots, and look forward to continuing to provide our expertise on this important public policy issue.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association — the largest independent pilots union in the United States — is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is AlliedPilots.org. American Airlines is the world’s largest passenger airline.

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