Pilot Groups Support FAA Changes To "Position And Hold"

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Although the FAA's recent efforts to minimize the use of "taxi into position and hold" procedures have been vociferously opposed by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, two pilot groups this week said they are fine with the changes. "The FAA's review [of TIPH] promises to build in necessary safeguards during departure and arrival operations on the nation's runways," said Larry Newman, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). The Allied Pilots Association (APA), which represents American Airlines pilots, agreed. "We applaud the FAA's action to improve safety on our runways," said Mike Leone, APA Safety Committee chairman. "The risk factors the FAA found in its review are real, and the changes mandated ... will significantly mitigate those risks." The APA added that to further improve runway safety, they would like the FAA to also implement the Airport Movement Area Safety System, install the ASDE-X ground radar system, and adequately staff control towers. Monday was the deadline for airport towers to notify the FAA if they intend to seek a waiver to continue use of the procedure.