On a cold February evening in 2009, just outside the city of Buffalo, New York, two pilots crashed a new aircraft on final approach to land into Buffalo Niagara International Airport. In an effort to prevent an accident of a similar nature from happening, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 5900, the ‘Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act.’ This bill under Title II was aimed to enhance airline safety and in part prevent an accident of this nature from occurring again (U.S. House 2010). Section 217 of the bill pushes the minimum hours required to act as a pilot on a regional carrier up to 1,500 total flight hours and requires those persons to do an extensive Air Transport Pilots examination (U.S. House 2010). Although some parts of this law encourage safety, it has the potential to cripple the aviation industry. This is so because of the predicted shortage of pilots in the coming years, lost interest of young pilots, potential higher prices for consumers, and loss of jobs.
The view that there is a pilot shortage impending has been echoed by many including Louis Smith, president of FLTOps, a website geared towards finding pilots jobs and providing assistance in résumé building. He states, “Pilot hiring was severely depressed in the last three years. The next ten years will be the exact opposite, with the longest and largest pilot hiring boom in the history of the industry" (Jones). This predicted pilot shortage within the next few years is brought on by several reasons: the retiring of older pilots from major U.S. carriers, the moving of many pilots to Asia and the Middle East, and the increasing traffic in the United States to coincide with a growth of the ...
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...24 Feb. 2012.
Jones, Charisse. "Demand for airline pilots set to soar." Usa today. USA TODAY, 2011. Web. 20 Mar. 2012.
Lowy, Joan. "Airlines oppose law increasing pilot flight hours." USA TODAY Travel Network 14 Oct. 2010. Web. 08 Mar. 2012.
Sullenberger, Chesley. Interview with CBS This Morning. "FAA proposes new rules for co-pilots." Breaking News Headlines: Business, Entertainment & World News - CBS News, 28 Feb. 2012. Web. 5 Mar. 2012.
United States. National Transportation Safety Board. “Loss of control on approach, Colgan Air, Inc. operating as Continental Connection Flight 3407, Bombardier DHC-8-400, N200WQ Clarence Center, New York, February 12, 2009.”, 2010. Web. 4 Feb. 2012.
U.S. House. 2010. Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010. US 111th Cong., 2nd sess. R. Doc. 3. Washington: GPO, 1 Aug. 2010. Web. 7 Mar. 2012.
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