WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a proposed rulemaking which would allow pilots more rest and replace current work rules with flexible, scientifically based standards to combat pilot fatigue. The FAA’s proposed regulations come on the heels of Senate passage of the FAA Extension Act of 2010, which includes stronger air safety provisions addressing pilot training, pilot fatigue, and mandating a minimum of 1,500 hours of flying time before a pilot can operate a commercial passenger aircraft.
“For more than a decade, improving airline safety for American travelers has been one of my top priorities,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “Pilot fatigue is a serious problem we have been fighting to address, and I am pleased the FAA is moving forward today on our requirements that will improve the safety of our skies. The FAA Extension Act of 2010 took steps to dramatically increase airline safety, including regulations on how many hours a pilot can be on duty, but we must keep fighting for more comprehensive legislation to implement stronger safety standards and modernize our aviation system for all Americans.”