The union representing 2,600 UPS pilots applauds a new bill on Capitol Hill that would give cargo crews as much rest as is now mandated for pilots of passenger planes.
The Independent Pilots Association and its president Bob Travis represent UPS flight crews and were outraged in 2009 when a law mandating pilot rest exempted cargo pilots.
“Pilots who fly for cargo carriers like UPS and FedEx were carved out of the new rules which address pilot fatigue, flight duty time and rest requirements,” said Travis. The current law, passed after a commuter airliner crashed in upstate New York, gives pilots who fly passengers more rest than those who fly cargo. But to Travis, that doesn’t make sense.
“Fatigue is fatigue,” he said, no matter if you’re carrying people or things in the back of the plane.
“We fly the same planes, we use the same airspace, we operate at the same airports. It should be one level of safety for all pilots in the industry,” he argued.
The new Safe Skies Act would give cargo crews the same sort of rest requirements now afforded passenger pilots and would finally give UPS crews the rest Travis said they deserve.