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NAFI Says Proposed ATP Requirement May Degrade Airline Safety

December 18, 2009 — The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) is objecting to a bill in congress that would require an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP) as the minimum standard to act as a flight crew member for operations under Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 121, which applies to most scheduled airline services. NAFI contends that this proposal does not address quality of experience; instead it addresses only a quantity of experience that is not necessarily directly applicable to the type of flight operations that the pilots will encounter.

NAFI Executive Director Jason Blair noted, “The result of this proposal will be to increase the number of hours a pilot has gained in experience prior to employment in a Part 121 Air Carrier job, but not necessarily improve the skill sets such a pilot possesses. In fact, the potential exists to degrade safety with this proposal.” Blair continued, saying that “The emphasis should be on training and quality of training, not just on total flight experience.”

A briefing paper developed by NAFI will be forwarded to members of the U.S. Senate who will be working with this issue in the upcoming days and weeks. NAFI urges the Senate to reconsider this well-intentioned but misguided law that we strongly believe will, in the long run, do little to improve air carrier safety and may well negatively affect general aviation safety.

NAFI can be contacted at NAFI@EAA.org or by phone at 920-426-6801.

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