Call to Action: Oppose Shuster Amendment in FAA Reauthorization Conference
April 23, 2011

My Fellow FedEx Crewmembers,

FedEx Pilots have stepped up in our last two calls to action representing:

·         42% of the total ALPA participation for the CTA against the Inhofe amendment

·         41% of the total participation against the Shuster amendment.

The total FedEx participants were 1250 and 1256 respectively. Our next goal is to have over 2000 FedEx pilots participate. Your participation is needed now more than ever to set the course for OUR future.

ALPA has been pushing for updated, science based fatigue rules for decades. A final rule is within sight. Efforts to derail the rule through the legislative process must be stopped. I’m asking you to let your Congressman and Senators know that you oppose the Shuster amendment (H.R. 658 provision Section 826) during the FAA reauthorization conference.

The FedEx Corporation is in SUPPORT of the Shuster Amendment.

If you have never participated with your Union this is a great time to start. This will take a maximum of 1 minute and will help protect the FAA proposed rules. For those that are regular “Call to Action” participants, your efforts are greatly appreciated and do make a difference. For those that participate, please encourage one other crewmember to do the same.

To log on, here is the easy link:

"Call to Action"

You can also go to www.alpa.org, “Members Only,” select “Legislation & ALPA-PAC,” in the first “call to action” select “Take action now,” log in again, and it should be self-explanatory from there.

The information for your Legislators will show up. You can use the sample letter or create your own. Afterwards, please let me know via e-mail (Fedex-LegaffChair@alpa.org) that you have contacted your legislators. Your help and participation is greatly appreciated and needed.

HISTORY:

After more than three years, a final agreement on the FAA reauthorization bill is within sight. Both the Senate and the House have bills that are going to conference in the next three weeks. Conference is where the differences between the two FAA Reauthorization bills are ironed out and negotiated to obtain a final bill that is sent to the president to be signed into law.

A few weeks ago, almost 1300 FedEx pilots contacted their Senators in opposition to the Inhofe amendment, which would have allowed cutouts to the pending flight time/duty time and rest rules of the Senate’s version of the FAA reauthorization bill. (S.223 -- FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act) After tremendous opposition from many pilots, Senator Inhofe withdrew his amendment and S.223 passed by a vote of 87-8.

Then weeks later the House Bill H.R. 658 (FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act) was passed (223-196) along with the Shuster amendment section 826 by a narrow margin (215-209).

The (NTSB) Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman has confirmed that the NTSB believes that the Shuster amendment to H.R. 658, the FAA Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2011, will further delay the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) rulemaking process and compromise safety.

In an April 19 letter in response to a request from Congressman Jerry Costello, Ranking Democrat on the Aviation Subcommittee, Chairman Hersman writes: “Section 826 of H.R. 658 would add complexity to the rulemaking process and would likely increase the time required to complete rulemakings, thereby delaying key measures needed to improve safety.

In addition, while discussing the impact the Shuster amendment could have on the current pilot fatigue rule, Chairman Hersman adds: “However, if Section 826 of H.R. 658 is enacted, this important rulemaking process, and many others, could be halted or not uniformly applied.”

For the full letter click here and select the “NTSB Letter to Congressman Costello” on the Legislative Affairs website.

THE SHUSTER AMENDMENT (provision):
This provision which states that  “Before proposing or issuing a regulation, the Administrator shall: ‘‘(I) Analyze the different industry segments and tailor any regulations to the characteristics of each separate segment (as determined by the Administrator), taking into account that the United States aviation industry is composed of different segments, with differing operational characteristics.  

Perform the following analyses for each industry segment:

“Identify and assess the alternative forms of regulation and, to the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than a specific means of compliance.”

“Assess the costs and benefits and propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs.”

“Ensure that the pro- posed regulation is based on the best reasonably obtainable scientific, technical, and other information relating to the need for, and consequences of, the regulation.”

“Assess any adverse effects on the efficient functioning of the economy, private markets (including productivity, employment, and competitiveness) together with a quantification of such costs.’’

FUTURE EXPECTATIONS:

Congress is currently in recess and will come back to Washington May 2nd. This time period presents a good opportunity to reach your Members of Congress and Senators in their home districts. I encourage you to meet with your Representative and Senators either one on one or during a town hall meeting or open office hours to brief them on ALPA’s priorities for the FAA reauthorization conference.

The House and Senate are already working at the staff level to iron out differences in the two bills (S. 223 and H.R. 658). They expect it will take approximately three weeks to walk through the bill and reconcile relatively non-controversial items. The next four weeks will be a pivotal point in our aviation careers. Thank you in advance for stepping up to do your part.

Fraternally,

 

Captain Fred Eissler

Legislative Affairs Committee Chairman