Contact your Representative TODAY to Support the
House FAA Reauthorization Bill
What it is and why it is important:
Each federal agency must periodically be reauthorized to operate by Congress. It is during this process that the agency is given a blueprint of what Congress wants and expects the agency to address in the coming years. Technically, a government agency such as the FAA cannot perform its functions if it is not duly authorized, so if the House and Senate cannot come to an agreement, the agency cannot operate. That is why there have been numerous extensions of the current FAA authorization over the years while specific or controversial provisions are debated for future bills.
There is much in the House FAA Reauthorization Bill (H.R. 4) that APFA supports. In some areas the bill does not go far enough. However, if passed, the bill sets the marker for future progress. The bill is expected to be debated and voted on in the House later this week, so we urge you to contact your House Representative TODAY to support the passage of this bill as written. It only takes a minute:
APFA members will also be on Capitol Hill on Wednesday securing support as part of our Cabin Safety Lobby Day.
Some of the provisions in the bill that APFA believes are beneficial to Flight Attendants include:
- Study on Cabin Evacuation Certification (Rep. Cohen’s SEAT Act)
- Protection of U.S. Aviation Jobs from Outsourcing (“Flags of Convenience”)
- Reinforcement of the ban on voice calls on planes
- Safe transport of lithium batteries
- Required notification of insecticide use
- Banning electronic cigarette smoking on planes
- 10-hours minimum rest and fatigue risk management plan
APFA supports the 10-hour rest rule, but we need more! It is not enough and does not take into account the dynamics of fatigue (report time, number of legs, length of flights, duty day, time zones crossed, circadian rhythm disruptions, scheduling changes, commuting AND, yes, length of rest period.) Because of contractual rules, we and other mainline carriers have negotiated longer rest periods beyond the current FAR. The proposed 10-hour rest rule (after subtracting our required 1 hour report and 15/30 minute debrief) only leaves us an increase in rest of a few minutes. This 10-hour rest rule does not mean 10 hours behind the door.
Numerous studies have been done. We now understand the real science of fatigue, and we need the legislation to reflect the science. The pilots participated in comprehensive rest and duty time reform for their work-group, and we believe it is time Flight Attendants are shown the same respect. It is the Flight Attendants who will evacuate the cabin within 90 seconds in the event of an emergency, and the challenges of multi-time zone travel and irregular rest are no less daunting for us than they are for pilots.
APFA Interim National Government Affairs Representative
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