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Pete Buttigieg: Answer to troubled skies is cultivating ‘new generation of qualified pilots’
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg argues that the solution to canceled flights and pilot shortages is having “as many, as good pilots” ready to take baby boomers’ places.
Pilots are being "recklessly utilized" as airlines across the industry work tirelessly to recapture revenue lost during the pandemic, according to Pilots Association Communications Chair Dennis Tajer.
The issue is that airlines are scheduling too many flights for the number of trained and current pilots they have, Tajer told FOX Business. It's creating an uptick in pilots calling out fatigued or who have hit the legal limit of duty hours, he said.
Although this means that the flight will likely be delayed or canceled, pilots have a moral obligation to ensure that they're not flying when they're not fit for duty, he added.
Tajer has been the communications chair of the Allied Pilots Association, the labor union representing American Airlines pilots, for the past 15 years. He has also spent more than 30 years flying for American Airlines.
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During the entire month of June, he says there was a fourfold increase in the number of fatigue calls from American Airlines pilots alone. On some days, there was a tenfold increase, which is a "warning sign that the system is under unnecessary duress," according to Tajer.
"This reckless utilization decreases reliability and can narrow the margin of safety," he said. "We are holding the line on the margin of safety, but a functional safety culture should not have such pressures."