Sinema has accepted at least $755,000 in contributions from the airline industry
Captain Ed Sicher, the president of the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 pilots for American Airlines and has been a pilot for nearly four decades, called out Kyrsten Sinema for undermining the standards of safety in flying.
Sinema has been pushing weaker pilot training requirements, which Senator Tammy Duckworth said will result in “blood on your hands”. Sinema’s pilot training amendment also resulted in a delay in FAA Reauthorization.
“The U.S. should not lower the bar for safety; we should remain the “gold standard” for safety, which must include securing a permanent, confirmed leader of the Federal Aviation Administration,” said Sicher.
Meanwhile, national and local journalists have reported on an increase in near collisions (“close calls”) in the air above our nation’s airports, including two such “near misses” at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport this summer.
Sinema has accepted at least $755,000 in contributions from the airline industry, including more than $100,000 from April to June 2023 – and has been criticized by ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ pilot Sully Sullenberger.
The Hill: The safest choice for passengers is the right choice for FAA reauthorization
By Ed Sicher
For commercial pilots, safety is non-negotiable. Period. That’s why the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, whom I represent, oppose any attempts in the U.S. House or Senate, most recently from Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), to reduce the current standards protecting America’s passengers and crews.
[…] We cannot forget that on Feb. 12, 2009, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. In the ensuing reports, investigators blamed the tragedy, in part, on inadequate training standards for the cockpit crew. As a result, Congress directed regulators to raise the training requirements to 1,500 hours.
America has not had another multi-passenger airline accident since.
[…]Let me speak on behalf of pilots: There is no defensible reason whatsoever to endanger that stellar safety record. No matter what challenges may face America’s airways, the answer is not to lower the bar of real-life flight training for airline pilots transporting our loved ones. Nor is the answer to lower the bar on pilot fitness — certainly not without research to back it up. Yet, the House’s proposal to reauthorize the FAA, which passed in June, would raise the mandatory retirement age for pilots from 65 years of age to 67.
[…] For passengers and pilots, safety is non-negotiable, especially when the margin for error is already too small. Just last month, a private jet came within 100 feet of another plane, in the seventh runway incursion to be officially investigated since the beginning of 2023. America’s passengers rely on the highest safety standards from us, their pilots. They deserve the same from Congress.