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“The Safe Skies Act of 2012” before Congress

April 18, 2012

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A pair of bipartisan lawmakers--Republican Representative Chip Cravaack (Minnesota) and Democratic Representative Tim Bishop (New York)--introduced a bill to apply Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fatigue rules to cargo pilots, reports The Hill.

"The Cravaack-Bishop Safe Skies Act of 2012 will bring the FAA’s final rule back in line with Congress’s original intent, one level of safety for U.S. aviation," Independent Pilots Association President Robert Travis said.

In response to the crash of a regional airline jet in Buffalo, New York, in 2009, in which fatigue had been a factor in the crash, last year the FAA announced new fatigue rules for commercial airplane pilots.

These new rules require that pilots get at least 10 hours off-duty time between flights, which allows pilots eight hours of sleep before re-entering the cockpit.

But these new rules do no apply to pilots carrying cargo, such as with companies like UPS and FedEx.

The bill, which has been dubbed “the Safe Skies Act of 2012,” is vital to the safety of the overall national aviation system because it recognizes that commercial and cargo pilots share the same airspace and runways.

“All airline pilots are human beings, and all airline operations should benefit from the same high safety standards," Air Line Pilots Association President Lee Moak said according to The Hill.

If you are someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private airline, the aviation accident attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.

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