Wednesday, June 5, 2019
We would like to update you again on the latest on what has become a frustrating process to implement the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Bill, specifically the 10-hour minimum rest rule. There has been little progress made by the DOT and the FAA to implement this important provision that APFA supported as part of the FAA Reauthorization Bill that passed last year. What we do know is that while the legislation may have been intended to be “self-enacting,” it is not. The language, as written, required review by the FAA Legal Department who have determined that it must go through the rule-making process. At this point, it appears that the DOT does not intend to begin the process until the spring of 2020.
The Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, has made it clear that the DOT intends to slow-walk the implementation of our 10-hour rest minimum by going through this extended rule-making process. Sadly, this Administration has defined itself as being profoundly anti-regulatory, committing itself to resisting new regulations while indiscriminately repealing existing ones, at a time when the FAA should be focused on aviation safety more than ever.
There are two things we can do to pressure regulators to speed up this process. First, APFA Government Affairs will continue working with the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure to ensure that they take every opportunity to provide oversight to the DOT and the FAA on implementing the law. The good news is that Chairman Peter DeFazio (OR-4) is just as frustrated with the DOT and FAA and is committed to holding their feet to the fire on this.
Second, American Airlines management needs to understand that waiting for our 10-hour FAR to be issued is simply unacceptable. The intent of the language is clear. There is nothing that prevents an airline from voluntarily meeting the minimum 10-hour rest rule before it is required by the FAA. APFA finds it hard to believe that it could take the world’s largest airline more than a year and a half to implement and abide by new laws. While the company has claimed that they are preparing for the change with programming and hiring, we believe that the airlines, ours included, may be working quietly behind the scenes to delay the process.
Management needs to hear from you. They need to know that their largest workgroup on property is wholly unsatisfied by their avoidance of this safety regulation. Flight Attendants who are fatigued may not be prepared to spring to action in emergency situations. This is not the type of safety or service that our passengers deserve. Once again it is up to us to remind the company that this is not “going for great” but rather going for mediocrity. It is time to demand that the company take the lead for change on behalf of its employees through early and complete compliance with the 10-hour rest minimum.
CALL TO ACTION CALL TO ACTION CALL TO ACTION CALL TO ACTION
Contact Secretary Elaine Chao – [email protected]
Contact the company – from your FSM all the way to top level management
Safety cannot wait.
Remember, elections matter. Political appointments matter. Perhaps it’s time for a new Secretary of Transportation.
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APFA National Government Affairs Representative
Proudly Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines