The UPS pilots union is suing the Federal Aviation Administration over not including cargo carriers in new guidelines for pilot rest. The new FAA rules mandate fewer monthly and weekly flight hours, and require pilots to take more rest time between flights. But only commercial pilots are affected.The Independent Pilots Association filed a petition for review today in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the guidelines. The petition maintains that cargo pilots should be covered by the rules too.
Cargo carriers can opt into the rules, but UPS indicated it won’t. Yesterday, UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot said the company has its own regulations for pilot rest.
A statement released by union president Captain Robert Travis argued otherwise.
“Giving air cargo carriers the choice to opt-in to new pilot rest rules makes as much sense as allowing truckers to ‘opt-out’ of drunk driving laws,” he said. “To potentially allow fatigued cargo pilots to share the same skies with properly rested passenger pilots creates an unnecessary threat to public safety. We can do better.”
Today’s filing asks the appeals court to review the FAA’s guidelines. The union plans to file additional evidence next month.