March 3, 1999
ALPA Renews Call To Mandate TCAS For Cargo Carriers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Air Line Pilots Association today renewed its call for the Federal Aviation Administration to require that cargo-carrying aircraft be equipped with Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS).
ALPA reiterated its long-held position in the wake of yesterday’s near-midair collision between two large cargo aircraft over Kansas. The incident involved a Federal Express DC-10 and an American International Airways L-1011 flying at 33,000 feet west of Salina, Kan.
Under current regulations, cargo aircraft are not required to have TCAS, which alerts pilots to approaching aircraft and prescribes evasive maneuvers. TCAS is required on aircraft used in passenger service. The cargo industry is growing rapidly with more and more operations conducted in very busy airspace at all times of the day.
The development and implementation of TCAS have proven to be a tremendous boon to the safety of commercial air transport as a means of allowing pilots to electronically "see" and avoid other aircraft. ALPA for years has advocated "one level of safety" for all commercial aircraft. The installation of TCAS equipment in cargo aircraft will enhance the safety of both passenger and cargo operations.
For three years, ALPA has urged Congress to establish a specific deadline for an FAA rule requiring cargo carriers to be equipped with TCAS. In January, the FAA announced its support for TCAS in cargo aircraft, but no schedule has been set for implementation.
ALPA, the world’s largest and oldest professional pilots union, has been a leading advocate of aviation safety since its founding in 1931. ALPA represents 52,000 pilots at 51 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
ALPA Contacts: Bob Flocke, John Mazor (703) 481-4440
Visit the ALPA web site: cf.alpa.org