In a stinging editorial titled “ALPA to FAA: Get Out of the Way, Pilots Are Trying to Help Fight This Pandemic,” Air Line Pilots Association President Joe DePete says that the FAA “is not doing its job by regulating when it’s urgently needed to protect us as we help in the fight against the pandemic. The FAA is refusing to make sure that U.S. airlines follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines for exposure notification and workplace sanitation—guidelines that, if enforced, will not only help protect our pilots’ health and that of our families but will also help make certain that pilots are available to continue to help the world respond to the pandemic.”
ALPA alerted the Department of Transportation last week and said the FAA should “immediately issue a mandatory order requiring U.S. airlines to meet CDC guidelines for employee test-positive notification and flight deck cleaning and sanitation.” More than a week before, ALPA asked Administrator Steve Dickson to have the FAA to produce an “order, directive, or regulatory requirement expressly mandating that airlines follow CDC guidance.” The FAA has not done so.
“It’s outrageous that, at a time of crisis, one part of the federal government, the FAA, is hindering another, FEMA, as it works to transport lifesaving supplies to those who are battling this pandemic,” DePete said. “This is no time for bureaucratic bungling or turf wars. The only war we should be fighting right now is the one against COVID-19—and we should be doing everything in our power to keep the soldiers on the frontlines safe and healthy.”