Legislation would extend rest requirements to cargo pilots

Barbara Boxer

Barbara Boxer

Washington – Cargo pilots would receive the same legal protections against fatigued flying as passenger aircraft pilots under legislation recently introduced in the Senate.

The Safe Skies Act (S. 1612) would eliminate a Department of Transportation loophole that exempts cargo pilots from rest requirements that went into effect in January 2014. The rules require passenger airlines to provide pilots with at least 10 consecutive hours of rest before the flight duty period.

Cargo pilots currently are not included in DOT’s rules and therefore are allowed to be on duty for as many as 16 hours a day, which is 60 percent more than other pilots, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who introduced the new legislation with six co-sponsors, said in a press release.

Several organizations quickly endorsed the legislation, including the Air Line Pilots Association, the Independent Pilots Association and the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations.

“This is a commonsense bill to ensure that pilots of passenger planes and cargo planes are flying under the same standard,” Boxer said in the release. “We must close this dangerous loophole so that every pilot gets adequate rest before they get in the cockpit.”