Last week U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced at a Congressional hearing that the Administration has reconsidered its plan to lift the ban on allowing Libyan nationals to be trained as pilots in the United States. The development reflects ALPA’s strongly held position that the ban must remain in place.
On August 14, 2014, ALPA sent a letter to Secretary Johnson expressing opposition to lifting this 30-year-old ban. The letter stated ALPA’s concern about the current turmoil in Libya and the effect that such instability could have on accurately ascertaining background-check information on Libyan nationals who seek pilot training in the United States.
Further, ALPA supports efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to move legislation (H.R. 5401) introduced by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) that would codify the current prohibition on training Libyan pilots into statute. ALPA responded to the bill’s introduction and scheduled full committee markup by sending a letter of support to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), thanking them for acting so quickly to address this important issue.
While we are pleased that Secretary Johnson has stated the Administration will not to lift the prohibition “anytime soon,” we remain concerned that the proposal to do so is still pending. We are encouraged that the cosponsors of H.R. 5401 plan to pursue action on this legislation and we remain supportive of their efforts.
As this issue continues to evolve, we will provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information.