Archive for Sunday, July 16, 2000

Pilots agree to new runway procedures

July 16, 2000

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— Commercial airline pilots have dropped their opposition to certain government-required runway procedures, ending a dispute with the Federal Aviation Administration that had threatened to disrupt travel in the busy summer season.

The FAA announced late Friday that an agreement has been reached with airlines, pilots and others in the aviation industry over so-called "land and hold short" procedures.

When a pilot is told to land and hold short, he or she is expected to land and then stop before crossing an intersecting runway, allowing another plane to land or take off on that strip.

As a result, the Air Line Pilots Assn. said that, effective Monday, it will lift its recommendation that its 58,000 members refuse to comply with landing clearances using that procedure.

When a pilot is told to land and hold short, he or she is expected to land and then stop before crossing an intersecting runway, allowing an-other plane to land or take off on that strip.

The procedure increases the number of planes that can use an airport at the same time. Accepting a land and hold short clearance is up to the discretion of the pilot in command and the pilots association claimed the procedure posed safety concerns in some cases.

The pilots welcomed the settlement, in which the FAA said it will issue new rules governing these landings by Aug. 14.

ALPA said the recommendation to decline such landings remains in place for flights in Canada, where it contends procedures still need to be improved to ensure safety.

The FAA an-nouncement did not report what its order would in-clude, but the pilots association said it "is consistent with all criteria that ALPA had identified as necessary for safe operations."

Among the ALPA concerns were pilot training, distances between planes, types of airports where the system is used and whether foreign pilots would use the procedure.

"The FAA has instructed air traffic controllers not to issue LAHSO clearances for any runway configuration that fails to fulfill all the required LAHSO safeguards," the association said in a statement.

A separate coalition of pilot groups reported that the under the agreement these landings "will take place only on runways that are deemed safe for the procedure" and added that pilots will conduct the landings only after receiving appropriate training.

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