The Real Facts About Cargo Pilots and Fatigue

In response to a misinformation campaign launched by the cargo industry, ALPA has released a new document to provide the real facts about cargo pilots, fatigue, and why Congress must pass H.R. 4350 – the Safe Skies Act.   Click here to view the new fact sheet – highlights from the document include:

  • Current rules fail to protect all-cargo pilots, were developed more than 50 years ago, and allow an all-cargo pilot to fly 60% more hours than domestic passenger pilots.
  • Cargo pilots frequently fly all night, increasing fatigue risk.
  • There is no standard for rest facilities on cargo aircraft and the quality of rest facilities varies widely.
  • Statistics show fatigue is a factor in airline accidents, and the accident rate for cargo operations is four to eight times higher than for passenger airlines.
  • Safety should come before economics in combating pilot fatigue.  Cargo planes share the same airports and airspace as passenger planes.

The Safe Skies Act of 2012 (H.R. 4350) requires the Department of Transportation to ensure that the FAA’s science-based flight- and duty-time regulations and minimum-rest requirements apply to every airline pilot, regardless of whether he or she flies passengers or cargo. Achieving one level of safety across the U.S. air transportation system would benefit all of us.

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