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Old 05-27-2010, 09:20 AM   #1  
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Default NTSB chairman says regionals 'can't wait'

NTSB chairman says regionals 'can't wait' on new safety regulations

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US National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman called on US regional airlines to "take the initiative" on safety issues by going beyond "minimum requirements," particularly regarding pilot hiring/training and pilot fatigue.

Delivering the keynote address to the Regional Airline Assn. Annual Convention in Milwaukee, Hersman said the February 2009 Colgan Air Q400 crash that killed 50 (ATWOnline, Feb. 4) was "a watershed event in that it brought into the harsh spotlight a number of issues that have been quietly plaguing the industry for decades."

She expressed concern that regional airlines are viewed as "the farm team" where pilots gain experience before moving on to mainline carriers. "I think that this is a really bad way to look at this," she told reporters following the speech. With regionals operating 53% of US domestic flights, "the regionals are the mainline," she said, adding that pilot training, commuting and fatigue policies should be consistent across the board.

She expressed skepticism that FAA adequately can enforce uniform, high-level safety standards: "We can't wait for regulations because sometimes these regulations take years or even decades to complete…I don't think FAA can always keep pace with how fast things are changing and it's up to the industry to take the bull by the horns."

The NTSB chairman was criticized for commenting at the board's hearing on the Colgan crash that "it felt like the movie ‘Groundhog Day’" because the safety issues highlighted were recurring. "I took some heat for that comment, but I stand by it," she said yesterday." These are not new problems. Pilots have been commuting for decades. Colgan knew that 70% of their pilots were commuters and 20% were commuting over 1,000 miles."

RAA President Roger Cohen said the organization is "dissecting all of the NTSB recommendations" related to the Colgan crash, adding that pilot training was a "major topic" during its board meeting at the conference this week.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines President Brad Holt said regionals have stepped up cooperation with mainline airline partners in the aftermath of the Colgan accident. "We meet regularly with our partners [Delta Air Lines and United Airlines] on our safety programs," he told ATWOnline. "The sharing of safety information has to be open and honest. We've gotten better at having scheduled meetings, usually on a monthly basis…I really do think the word just hasn't gotten out there" on regionals' increased safety efforts over the past year.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:30 AM   #2  
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Brad Holt says they have "meetings." What a great, cheap solution that gives the illusion of actually making some meaningful changes. The NTSB demands action, and the regional managements give them activity. There is a difference, you know.
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Old 05-27-2010, 09:39 AM   #3  
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We wouldn't be having this issue if all branded flying is done by pilots under one seniority list under same work rules and benefits. ie., all DAL flights are flown by DAL pilots with DAL seniority list under DAL work rules and payrates.

I have to give credit to SW Airlines for nor selling out scope to regionals. All Southwest flights are flown by SW pilots, as they should be.

FAA is in bed with the airline management so they are not going to change unless someone with power forces them to change. Just look at the way FAA is sitting on the crew duty and rest requirement rule change. Or the way politicians are trying to water down the minimum part 121 hiring std. They can't even agree on ATP and 1500 hour requirement for new hires.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:05 AM   #4  
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All they would have to do is make the Mainline partner accountable for all damages if one of their regional partners crash one. That would create instant oversight from mainline, and they would either crack down or take back the flying entirely
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:05 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighteningspeed View Post
We wouldn't be having this issue if all branded flying is done by pilots under one seniority list under same work rules and benefits. ie., all DAL flights are flown by DAL pilots with DAL seniority list under DAL work rules and payrates.

I have to give credit to SW Airlines for nor selling out scope to regionals. All Southwest flights are flown by SW pilots, as they should be.

FAA is in bed with the airline management so they are not going to change unless someone with power forces them to change. Just look at the way FAA is sitting on the crew duty and rest requirement rule change. Or the way politicians are trying to water down the minimum part 121 hiring std. They can't even agree on ATP and 1500 hour requirement for new hires.
People who do not believe in the tooth fairy or santa claus knew this was going to happen. You cannot regulate something unless you are writing the checks, period.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:31 AM   #6  
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Chairperson Hersman is suggesting the RAA self-impose rules that will cost them more in the end! Ya...I'm sure "Spray-Tan" Cohen will just jump on that!!

The 2 agencies overseeing air travel safety never even talk to each other, unless it's under court order, so the agency head who doesn't even make the rules says pretty-please!! So it's left in the laps of the numb-nuts in congress...what a mess.

Oh my God...this idiot is worked-up over regionals being farm-leagues, and the pilots not having the same qualifications and training as the majors...well...if they did, they'd be flying for the majors, now, wouldn't they? (That deserves a Bill Engvall "Here's your sign!")

Last edited by NoStep; 05-27-2010 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:38 AM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Lighteningspeed View Post
I have to give credit to SW Airlines for nor selling out scope to regionals. All Southwest flights are flown by SW pilots, as they should be.
I haven't kept up with the latest and greatest. But can that statement be made with absolute certainty with regards to the agreements they have with Canadian and Mexican carriers?

Like I said, I haven't kept up, so are those agreements STILL in place? Or was that a possible expansion avenue for SW that basically got farmed out to foreign carriers? I know, outside the U.S. had never been a part of the way SW does business. But NEITHER was going into places like LAX, DEN, NSP, LGA, etc.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighteningspeed View Post
FAA is in bed with the airline management so they are not going to change unless someone with power forces them to change. Just look at the way FAA is sitting on the crew duty and rest requirement rule change. Or the way politicians are trying to water down the minimum part 121 hiring std. They can't even agree on ATP and 1500 hour requirement for new hires.
What he said!
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Old 05-27-2010, 01:53 PM   #9  
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"...With regionals operating 53% of US domestic flights, "the regionals are the mainline," she said....
It's not by accident that the RAA and ATA us the term "Regional" at every opportunity to describe all of this outsourced flying. It's a way for them to obtain scope concessions from the out-of-touch mainline pilot groups.

How are things going to change when this type of flying is still called "regional". Let's all stop using the incorrect term first of all and call it what it is:

OUTSOURCED TRANSCONTINENTAL CONTRACT FLYING

How about the OTAG (Outsourced Transcontinental Airline Group) or CACA (Contract Airline Companies of America)?

Mods? How about a name change to this forum? Start a trend; The Outsourced Contract Forum?

The cost of safety was the very reason the outsourcing began in the first place. The airlines saw their chance at shifting flying to cheaper labor and simultaneously reducing the cost of safety through less stringent work rules and less experienced pilots.

It's pure hypocrisy for the NTSB and FAA to begin focusing on the outsourced pilots while ignoring the true developers of the outsourcing model itself.

winglet

Last edited by winglet; 05-27-2010 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 03:41 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winglet View Post

How are things going to change when this type of flying is still called "regional". Let's all stop using the incorrect term first of all and call it what it is:

OUTSOURCED TRANSCONTINENTAL CONTRACT FLYING

How about the OTAG (Outsourced Transcontinental Airline Group) or CACA (Contract Airline Companies of America)?

Mods? How about a name change to this forum? Start a trend; The Outsourced Contract Forum?


I have suggested just that. Edit to clarify: I only suggested that we change the name of the forum to accurately reflect the airlines being discussed. Clearly, there's not much regional about SkyWest, for instance. And several "majors" are indeed limited to regional areas.

So, I'd call it "Contracted Airlines".

Last edited by TonyWilliams; 05-27-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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