UPS Pilot Court Challenge; FAA Admits to "Errors," Agrees to Take New Look at Cargo Pilot Exclusion from Rest Rules

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night in a surprise move, the FAA admitted that it "discovered errors" during the course of preparing its court papers.  The FAA now says it is ready to provide the relief requested by the Independent Pilots Association (UPS pilots union), and will take another look at whether cargo pilots should be excluded from new rest rules published in December.

The FAA filed a motion asking the Court for "an order holding this appeal in abeyance and remanding the record to the FAA to permit correction of newly discovered errors in the administrative record supporting the regulation at issue in this case as it pertains to all-cargo flight operations." 

The FAA said it "discovered errors in calculating the scope of costs associated with the implementation of the regulations (rest rules) for all cargo operations."  

As a result, the Agency proposes to "reopen the record by issuing a supplemental regulatory evaluation strictly limited to the application of the new regulations to all-cargo operations."  The FAA action, subject to court approval, would occur on an "expedited" basis and be subject to continued court supervision.

"In the context of our lawsuit, the FAA is now willing to allow for an open and public examination of the costs and benefits of having one level of aviation safety," said IPA President Robert Travis.  "The IPA welcomes this development."

"This is the type of relief we asked the court to provide in our brief filed in April," said IPA General Counsel William Trent of the UPS pilots union.  "A flawed cost-benefit formula, issued at the last minute, without opportunity for public comment and examination, was at the core of our legal objections to the FAA's exclusion of cargo pilots from new science-based pilot rest rules," he added.  The new regulations will continue in force with respect to passenger operations, as those regulations become effective in January 2014.

"Make no mistake, this is not a final victory," said Travis.  "However, getting the FAA to reconsider this critical safety issue under the bright light of full public scrutiny and accountability is an important first step."

To view the motion and other materials related to IPA v. FAA, Cargo Airlines Association (USCA Case #11-1483), go to: www.ipapilot.org/ipavfaa.asp

SOURCE Independent Pilots Association



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