NTSB chairman says regionals 'can't wait' on new safety regs

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NTSB chairman says regionals 'can't wait' on new safety regs

Unread post by bimjim » Thu May 27, 2010

http://atwonline.com/aeropolitics-regul ... =nl_atw_dn

NTSB chairman says regionals 'can't wait' on new safety regulations
By Aaron Karp
May 27, 2010

US National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman called on US regional airlines to "take the initiative" on safety issues by going beyond "minimum requirements," particularly regarding pilot hiring/training and pilot fatigue.

Delivering the keynote address to the Regional Airline Assn. Annual Convention in Milwaukee, Hersman said the February 2009 Colgan Air Q400 crash that killed 50 (ATWOnline, Feb. 4) was "a watershed event in that it brought into the harsh spotlight a number of issues that have been quietly plaguing the industry for decades."

She expressed concern that regional airlines are viewed as "the farm team" where pilots gain experience before moving on to mainline carriers. "I think that this is a really bad way to look at this," she told reporters following the speech. With regionals operating 53% of US domestic flights, "the regionals are the mainline," she said, adding that pilot training, commuting and fatigue policies should be consistent across the board.

She expressed skepticism that FAA adequately can enforce uniform, high-level safety standards: "We can't wait for regulations because sometimes these regulations take years or even decades to complete?I don't think FAA can always keep pace with how fast things are changing and it's up to the industry to take the bull by the horns."

The NTSB chairman was criticized for commenting at the board's hearing on the Colgan crash that "it felt like the movie ?Groundhog Day?" because the safety issues highlighted were recurring. "I took some heat for that comment, but I stand by it," she said yesterday." These are not new problems. Pilots have been commuting for decades. Colgan knew that 70% of their pilots were commuters and 20% were commuting over 1,000 miles."

RAA President Roger Cohen said the organization is "dissecting all of the NTSB recommendations" related to the Colgan crash, adding that pilot training was a "major topic" during its board meeting at the conference this week.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines President Brad Holt said regionals have stepped up cooperation with mainline airline partners in the aftermath of the Colgan accident. "We meet regularly with our partners [Delta Air Lines and United Airlines] on our safety programs," he told ATWOnline. "The sharing of safety information has to be open and honest. We've gotten better at having scheduled meetings, usually on a monthly basis?I really do think the word just hasn't gotten out there" on regionals' increased safety efforts over the past year.

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27 May
06:23
By franki

Are you kidding? Nothing is going to change until a few more planes make smoking holes on the ground for the FAA to change the rest rules. You want to fix this problem go back to regulating aircarriers. Maybe then they might be profitable enough to raise pay and benefits in order to attract the best of the best. No those who can afford it and be mediocre at best. This is aviation an unforgiving environment that requires the best of the best. Ask Sully!

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