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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 4, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EDT

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within the government and the ruling party people that would surprise some of the critics who if push comes to shove will move that direction. the trouble is the climate of ideas is hostile to the type of private sector led growth, and the rights necessary to get there. either the reformers are more likely to fall short. the scenario is that continuing economic decline and oefrt move to try to undermine democratic institutions in the country. a gentleman to your left. yes, you sir. >> david terry with executive intelligence. simple question. the first is -- >> is the mike on? >> like this.
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okay. you projected what you thought might be the most likely coalition government which could come in 2024. but i didn't understand clearly who the participants were. >> there are essentially four players in the political space at the moment. there's the african national congress which has about 40% of the vote of potential vote, 60% of the actual vote. they're player number one. the second player is the largely liberal or classically liberal -- these things aren't always clear -- opposition in south africa. and they're sitting at about let's talk about the actual vote anc has about 60 liberal
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opposition sitting around 25 or so. and the marxist left is sitting at about 7 and a few other rats and mice parties. the likely coalition for me is that the anc loses its absolute majority, so it loses another 10 or 11 percentage points moves to just below 50. that is attrition both from the marxist left and from the liberal right of the party. if through that process of attrition the young marxists can gather another ten percentage points, then the likely coalition is former african national congress with former young marxists, and that completes a circle because the young marxist left is former youth wing of african national congress that was expelled from the party recently in the hope that like other splinters that have gone before it it would find life in the wilderness very difficult. it has thrived uh-uh uh-uh through some marketing genius
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and exploitation of the unmet expectations for young people. i think anc goes below 50, the likely partner is the radical left. together they have a constitutional majority which is something that anc hasn't had since 2004. >> the other question if i may it was a big one namely what -- i was surprised in your scenarios you did not include the factor of the bricks alliance of nations. what bricks means to me is vast increases in infrastructure development. now, if you factor in south africa not only being a member of bricks but bricks bank coming into effect in a manner of months, and africa being somewhat of a priority for bricks as i understand it, then
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how does that effect this picture? >> i think south africa is brick et. in per capita terms, looks like a brick in absolute terms, somewhat insignificant. i do think that plays into it. i think a lot of what plays into south africa moving, especially into the narrow road scenario is diplomatic pressure of sorts out of china that sees enormous advantage to themselves in changing what would otherwise be formative precedent, shaping the high growth economies across the continent. in that narrow road scenario, foreign corrupt practices act here would be a headache for any firm wanting to do business in south africa or in the rest of the continent, leaving the chinese with an unasaleable advantage. i think the bricks, unsaleable
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advantage for the future of africa. africa is starting to look impressive. 20, 30 year projections on consumer markets could drive future recoveries. a lady in front of you, then the eager gentleman, i see your hand, i'll have you next. the lady in front of me please that's you, madam, yes. >> my name is mia. i would like to know for economic development, about public private partnership, in the normal moral way it is okay, the problem now is whether it is misleading, is terrible and according to africa development there's tendencies, equivalent to profit of people.
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people don't have water, they don't really receive it. i just wonder if you can explain more how they use public private partnership or say forget it we want to do best interest of general public. >> i think one point you cannot escape on south africa is that in the absence of significantly high levels of investment must be driven from private sector, where will capital come from. public private partnerships are a popular fad. they often simply open the door to a corrupt relationship between big business and big government and i think to significant extent if south africa reaches that growth rate, because they had the door open and enabling investment environment was created.
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the gentleman at the back. i see one, two, three hands. yes, sir. >> thank you. you made a good presentation of what are the factors effecting decline in economic growth of south africa. specific economic factors worldwide. now, maybe i got you wrong, but i got impression that it seems you are more concerned about anc being at fault and something else you take over. assuming that is right. suppose anc loses election and new government comes in the way you want it. what are the specific actions you would recommend to their new government to reverse the
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growth, the declining economic growth and particularly what are three specific things they should do and what time frame would you advice such government before they see any positive response in economic growth in south africa. >> my first point to you is that with close to two-thirds majority over 20 years, it is only right if there are shortcomings in south africa, we take a close look at the behavior of its government. i don't think it is accurate to suggest that will we are pushing for collapse of that government. if anything else we fear if it only loses majority by one or two percentage points we end up in a worse situation where the marxists get back in again. that's it. we will back any party i think the broader sense willing to embrace the reforms to turn
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south africa around. specifically what needs to be done. first point. i will talk generally, introduce a model adaptive for charter school system for the country. school vouchers. allow parents choice of education the children get. there are governments that can run good school systems. our government is not going to be one of those. if you cannot break the skills deadlock you cannot exploit a natural strength as a services economy. second step that future government must follow, significant labor market deregulation. scrapping of minimum wage, right to work clause in south african constitution scrapping of horizontal application of bargaining agreements. third, scrap all race based policies and black economic empowerment policies. they're simply a breeding ground for corruption, incompetence and unnecessary obstacle to invest
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to growth. that would be our advice. other political takers to accept that, time will tell. let me move on. i see a number of hands. if you excuse me i am going to try to deal with as many as i can. the gentleman in front of me. >> tony carol. teach at johns hopkins vice president manchester trade. last week you spoke about trying to generate the attention and interest of those sectors within the south african government that are actually competent and who may be drawn to more persuasive arguments about good governance and lastly, let me say as a comment, i was in south africa before the end of apartheid, this government inherited a mess. status society, it was exclusionary highly inefficient. maybe things haven't gotten better, but they were certainly bad when they took over.
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i am not sure you make enough comment or reflex. i am more worried about engaging the elements of the government that offer some coherence and willingness to engage. >> there are advantages in the fiscal deficit because it means that moderates within the government and reform minded members are more focused on getting out of trouble -- it focuses collective imagination. the prospect of a young marxist party in red berets or -- you would adjust for them if you get them to speak one day, we are seeing as a think tank as independently privately financed group more positive interaction with elements of ruling party in south african government than in the last 20 years.
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it is true to say south africa is a better place than it was at the end of apartheid. we have made that point repeatedly to the point that we have drawn the ire of the official opposition. and i think in the mid 2000s it appears that would be our trajectory. the confluence of global financial crisis and effective coup of the left taking back policy forming function in south african government means that we are a country that is now significantly underperforming in terms of our potential. the gentleman on the extreme, my extreme left. yes, sir. >> i didn't -- i was hoping to see a chart that would show both the capital and human capital
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people leaving the country. i get the sense that, mine, can you go back after talking like you just did i am wondering what is the reverse immigration especially of skilled people and when taking capital with them? >> we are aware of a significant skills outflow. you don't see that in official population statistics but it becomes clear when you look at the age structure of the middle class. there's obviously a big gap. looks like an hour glass. big gap in the middle. that hour glass image is reflected again in south africans that would be the children of middle class parents, who are not being born in the country any more. these are moving -- unless the middle class stop having children completely, those children are born overseas. i think we have seen that.
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the global financial crisis put the brakes on -- we warned it is a pattern that will resume if domestic policy in the country remains hostile. much of the middle class as the graphics indicate -- if racial national sent meant that attacks foreign migrants that see cecil rhodes statue removed, i don't think it will turn in a manner off white middle class. i have to be clear, that's not attributed to me if it was, i would have said so. i think as pressure is brought to bear on that group, they will increasingly seek to leave. our estimate is half of the white middle class have foreign residence rights if they choose to exercise those rights. you say why are we there. yeah, every individual will have
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to talk for themselves. certainly i think my colleagues and many others want it to be a success and want to be influence in allowing it to be successful because while it is turning against us those up side scenarios remain in reach for south africa and we are not going to die wondering what would have happened had we as think tank not used every resource we had. if it is going to go down then it is going to go down and trends are starting to turn against us. the gentleman i am pointing at. >> thank you. peter justin, ceo of a company called five plus, focus on growing entrepreneurship economies, we are in discussion with the government of south africa how to do that. i look at statistics on emerging growth economies around the
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world, they often mirror u.s. statistics, two-thirds net job creation, 50% gdp 60% unemployment, driven by entrepreneurship and small business. wonder what your thoughts are, you how that would impact growth curves. >> there's no doubt if south africa is to beat the unemployment crisis that job creation is not going to be out of large foreign or domestic investors or job creators. that burden will have to be borne to a great extent by communities themselves. now, south africa statistics are interesting. we have levels of emerging entrepreneurship, someone is trying a startup. compared with the bricks, as example. liberals have established entrepreneurship compared with russian, former soviet union. what's happening there? it is that the impetus is there to get going but when you run into the regulatory wall the
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south african government represents, most small businessmen can't possibly hope to make it and that to drive entrepreneurship which might have been the fourth piece of advice i would give to future south african government, what we need to do is remove the dead hand of the south african state. we need to establish a ministry that is responsible for going to see other cabinet ministers and saying are you aware that you have 200 lawson the statute books and which of those do you really need. and if you aren't able -- otherwise repeal and scrap them. massive deregulation of investment space is necessary. we know foreign immigrants being attacked are young entrepreneurs. the advantage they have over the south african colleagues is not that they're better educated or come for peaceful -- the advantage is by their legal
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status are not subject to many laws and regulations of south african government and we need to give that freedom to more south africans. >> frans make it the last two questions. >> two more questions. seen two very -- marian. i have seen two persistent hands at the back. gentleman on my left and the one somewhat in front of me. i will be available here. i will try and be available for half an hour after. let me just take those two who identified. marian will commit me i will take one more from the right. >> i am on my own peril, just to make that clear. since you painted a very dismal picture of south africa and keep saying with one or two person change could get the leftist in, why not pick the china model and
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start all over again, get their own and build through that, and come through china miracle we see today. why not go through that model. >> that's my narrow read scenario. it would leave south africa economically better off but the basic rights and freedoms that the country struggled for for the apartheid era would disappear with it. there was a question. yes, you sir. >> kyle gibson with the u.s. chamber of commerce for african affairs, former cato institute intern. i want to touch briefly back to broad based economic empowerment codes. so you know, you have the narrative of high unemployment rates, you have dropping commodity prices and you have
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many african governments continually trying to diversify their economies. with that, we see a spaigs rising trend, the broad based economic empowerment codes. with the way this is trending not only in south africa but across the south african continent, what is your opinion on future outlook for foreign direct investment, especially from, you know the u.s. and other western countries as well as national economic development, if there's any influence. >> we are talking about 55 countries, each with their own sets of policies. as a short answer, north is looking good there are some exceptions, but considering where the continent was where it is going we will not again
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see the economy from 12 years ago. i like your question though because you are touching on something that i haven't seen many an lists identify. that's ensuring the former precedent is the right one. it is influential precedent for the rest of africa's development. it was the great democratic experiment. the precedent that shaped in south africa will be how the african economies, we can learn more now from east africa in terms of attracting investment than they could learn from us. they could learn from us how not to do it. but the danger is very much as wealth starts being created that the political elite will extract that wealth for themselves through what he calls in ding anization policy through what
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the south africans call endowment policy. it is that, means to allow very big government very big business to work together in a quasi corrupt fashion to secure short term economic goals for the investor in question. and personal economic goals for the government and supporters. should other countries start to move toward that model, i think it bodes ill for western investment particularly for the foreign practices act. on one hand, foreign practices act, on the other hand investors in africa run risk of being exposed to governments that increasingly become less democratic, more authoritarian. and not enough effort to create environment conducive to long term investment. the winner all of this ultimately remains china's view
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on africa. the last gentleman you sir. >> a message for you and south african people. tell zuma to stop creating the federation, only way you survive as economic entity, if you don't be part of this federation, status of south africa, nigeria will atan that of mexico 40 years ago. join the federation. take that message to the people. private sector driven. limited interference of the stupid government class. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. [ applause ]
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the next washington journal shane goldmacher and feldman. discussing the 2016 presidential race. then looking at the house-senate budget agreement which the house passed and senate is expected to debate this week. plus, your phone calls facebook comments and tweets. washington journal live tuesday at 7:00 a.m. eastern on cspan. we go to capitol hill for a discussion on reauthorization the federal aviation administration. this senate subcommittee plans a series of hearings on the reauthorization. this two hour session focuses on pilot fatigue and training and regulations for regional aviation. witnesses include the faa
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administrator and retired airline captain chesley sullenberger. >> good afternoon and welcome. thank you all for being here. today's hearing is one in a series we're holding in preparation for this year's federal aviation administration's reauthorization effort and last week we heard from experts and stakeholders on the certification process and airport infrastructure financing. today we have the opportunity to discuss the single-most important underlying issue for any reauthorization effort and that's safety. the safety of our national airspace system and the safety of the flying public.
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with that, i want to take a moment to recognize the family members of the victims of colgan flight 3407, which crashed near buffalo in 2009 who i understand are here in the audience today. your sustained efforts to improve safety of our skies are admirable and we appreciate you coming to this hearing today. safety is and must remain our top priority. the united states's national airspace system remains one of the safest the world even while being one of the most complex systems in the world. the safety record we enjoy is a product of hard work of both government and industry alike but it requires vigilant and dedication to ongoing improvement and assessment. today's hearing covers a broader way of important issues and i appreciate all of our witnesses for being here today. in 2010, congress enacted the airline safety and federal aviation administration extension act. in 2012 congress enacted the faa monitorization and reform act,
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today i look forward to hearing from our witnesses about the safety improvements that have been implemented since these laws were enacted and what still remains to be done. the faa has made significant progress in implementing reforms mandated by the airline safety act yet some initiatives are left undone. in particular i'd like to focus on the agency's progress in implementing the pilot records database. this is an important tool to make sure airlines have all the information needed to assess pilots applying for positions in the cockpit and i urge the faa to move quickly in implementing this reform. more recently, some have noted a concern about the supply of pilots, acknowledging there's some pointed disagreement here, particularly with regard to the root cause of any real or perceived shortage. i hope to hear from each witness today on this issue so we can properly assess and understand the situation as we review the issue, i'm confident no one on this committee, including me, wants to compromise passenger safety.
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we want to make sure that we have obviously well-qualified pilots to serve in our air system. i also look forward to testimony on the mental and physical fitness of airline pilots. tragically the recent germanwings crash has brought the aviation community's attention to the mental health of pilots as well as safety measures with access to the flight deck. we must learn from this incident and certainly any thoughts you have today for us to understand we'd appreciate. we will also have an opportunity to discuss safety management systems, pilot commuting, commercial aircraft tracking, flight data, recorder requirement modification and airport surface movement safety. we all know the airports and runways are complex areas with many moving parts. again vigilance is required and i look forward to hearing about the agency's ongoing efforts here to ensure the safety of our runways. we will also examine issues affecting the general aviation
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community. general aviation is an important part of our civil aviation system and encompasses aviation enthusiasts recreational fliers, but for a lot of communities it serves as a key link for businesses and first responders, especially in rural communities and also i know for some of my colleagues, for example, in alaska and hawaii this is a very important issue. there are several pilots in my family and i can attest to the enthusiasm for flying and dedication to safety shown by the general aviation community. a recent government accountability office report indicated that total general aviation operations and annual hours flown by general aviation decreased between 2000 and 2010. today i want to better understand the reasons for these declines and what is happening in the general aviation industry
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as well. today we will hear from five witnesses. miss margaret gilligan, associate administrator for the aviation safety -- for aviation safety at the faa. the honorable christopher hart, chairman of the national transportation safety board, captain chesley sullenberger, retired pilot and safety consultant and i think well known to many of us as to his accomplishments and background. we're honored to have you here captain. ms. faye malarkey black, interim president at the airline association and mr. mark baker, president and ceo of the aircraft owners and pilots' association. thank you for being here, i look forward to your testimony. and with that i would like to turn it over to my ranking member senator cantwell. >> thank you, chairman ayotte and the witnesses for being here today. i look forward to hearing your testimony. i would especially like to acknowledge the families and the victims of the colgan air flight
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3407 who are with us here today. thank you for your consistent advocacy and tireless work on behalf of a safer aviation system. the faa has implemented a number of safety improvements in the last five years including pilot training, safety management systems, flight and duty time requirements and pilot professionalism initiatives. we have moved the ball forward on aviation safety but we can not be complaisant with the progress we've made. we've built on efforts from the past, leveraged science and data and technology to make aviation safer but we have more work to do. one area of work remains is in the development of a comprehensive pilot records database which was mandated by the 2010 airline safety faa reauthorization. this is an important component of data-driven safety regime to help prevent future tragedies and i hope the faa can move the development of these key safety
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tools forward more quickly. the faa's mission is to provide the safest most efficient airspace system in the world. as we engage with aviation stakeholders, on the faa reauthorization bill and discuss how to rheal a kate limited resource, we must prioritize safety before all else. there will always be competing priorities for aviation and business and government's responsibility is to maintain the highest standards to protect passengers, pilots and the public. this is important and necessary. we can see from issues like the pilot fatigue rules which will be discussed today and unfortunately in seattle last week we had a maintenance crew member fall asleep in the cargo hold of an airplane that also caused somebody to return. these rules on fatigue and the latest research on sleep science and how various work and rest schedules impact performance are very important. we've had hearings on this in the past, madam chair. we want our pilots to benefit from this research and unfortunately the final regulations carved out cargo
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pilots. in the last two congresses, i've worked with many others here to correct this divide between pilots, whether they're flying passenger or cargo planes and i hope this year we can bring this to safety in our skies as we move forward on the faa bill. as we think about the national airspace's interconnected system we also need to look at general aviation and how to make aviation safer. next gen will provide us with good data, weather, traffic, but we also have to look for opportunities in other ways for safety. one area we hope to see progress for general aviation is improved certification of safety related equipment and technology. if we're able to accelerate the certification timeline and reduced cost to operators we can help enable operators to equip the aging general aviation fleet with cutting edge safety technology and state-of-the-art components. at our manufacturing and air certification hearing last tuesday, we discussed the rewriting of the certification
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purposes for general aviation aircraft part 23 and i want to underscore these potential safety benefits of this action for general aviation in addition to the economic and logistical benefits. as the faa develops new general aviation certification rules, we should consider other areas to improve existing regulations. the faa's reauthorization provides an opportunity to identify areas where we can enhance and streamline and refocus regulations into safety. the national transportation safety board has studied the issues of medical requirements and i'm sure we're going to hear about that today as well and recommendations to strengthen. this changes medical standards and we should consider ways to strengthen and improve those requirements as well. the faa continues to study ways to improve this safety through its research program.
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i know that they're studying everything from product on the plane as well like lithium ion batteries, airlines, air manufactures, administration have expressed concern over incendiary properties of lithium batteries and despite leading in the global community in research into hazardous fire proposed by bulk shipments of batteries, u.s. regulation has lagged behind so fortunately the international civil aviation has provided by some base a guidelines in this area another field where an international community is directing significant attention is flight tracking and data recorders. the disappearance of malaysia flight 370 underscored the gaps in the flight tracking system as well as challenges posed in trying to locate a flight data recorder. without understanding what happened, we are disadvantaged to try to prevent another situation. the ntsb has also studied this area so i look forward to hearing chairman hart's testimony on that this security of our system is integral to the backbone of aviation hopefully
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we can move forward with more implementation of next jen and make sure we have the trained pilots. to foster growth in aviation. thank you, madam chair, for holding this important hearing and to the witnesses. >> thank you so much. we're fortunate to have the overall ranking member senator nelson. >> i'll enter a statement in the record. i'm very proud of the work of this subcommittee. it's doing important stuff and the subject matter of this hearing underscores the importance of the work of this subcommittee. >> well, thank you so much, senator nelson. with that i would like to call on our witnesses and our first witness is ms. margaret gilligan.
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administrator for aviation safety at the federal aviation administration. ms. gilligan. >> thank you, senator ayotte. senator cantwell and members of the subcommittee for holding this hearing and focusing on an issue of national importance. your guidance has had a tangible result. the united states of america enjoys the world's safest and most efficient aviation safety system. we've been working for years to build on the trust that you've exhibited in our efforts. indeed, the united states is doing much more than just holding steady at historically low accident rates. aviation safety cannot rest on the status quo regardless of how well things are going. by establishing strong safety partnerships we're accelerating the state of aviation safety at a pace that is perhaps unrivalled in any industry.
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the airline safety extension act of 2010 has contributed to our progress with the support of the colgan families and at your direction we issued a final rule to prevent pilot fatigue which became effective more than a year ago. this sent a clear message that every airline must provide pilots sufficient time to get the rest needed for safe flight and it underscored the point that every pilot has a personal responsibility to arrive at work fit for duty. the act triggered other rules as well with very limited exceptions we required airline pilots to have 1500 hours of flight time experience. we strengthened the requirements for taking the airline transport pilot test requiring applicants to have completed additional training and high altitude operations and adverse weather. we published a final rule that advances the way pilots are trained and added a requirement for training from full stalls and upset conditions. that rule also made air carriers put remedial programs in place to track pilots with performance deficiencies. in a system as safe as ours with an industry as safety conscious as ours is, it's an
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extraordinary challenge to find a game changer and an approach that has the potential to raise the safety bar even further. the requirement in the 2010 act to publish a rule requiring safety management systems did just that. safety management systems are the next great frontier for aviation safety. until now technology has driven safety improvements from radar to jet engines to collision avoidance and now satellite navigation. but sms changes that landscape. it's a comprehensive approach to managing safety throughout an organization. it requires an organization-wide safety policy. it has formal methods for identifying hazards, mitigating and controlling risks and continually assessing safety performance. sms stresses not only compliance with technical standards, it puts increased emphasis on the overall safety performance of the organization. sms is not a slogan. it requires establishing a safety culture, a culture that assures hazards are identified, actions are taken and results
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are measures then it repeats the then it repeats the d then it repeats the process again. in the business of aviation safety, in the business of aviation, safety cannot be an add-on. it must be built in through sms. the airlines have learned that and we thank this committee for its support. safety management systems have become the foundation for risk-based decision making. our resources will always be finite. faa must put those resources where they're needed most. risk-based decision making allows us to make aviation safer and smarter. because commercial accidents are so rare, we're focusing on mitigating risk that could lead to an accident. risk-based decision making lets us tackle the highest risk first using our resources to improve safety where they will be the most effective. the linchpin for risk-based decision making is the safety data shared throughout the industry. safety data can come from the dozens of public and proprietary databases such as the air
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traffic control system, the airplane itself, or the people who are involved in the operation. these data are fed into the aviation safety information analysis and sharing system and it works. safety professionals recognize there can be no secrets. this is a voluntary effort and we in industry are working with data that now represents 99% of u.s. air carrier commercial operations. before closing, i want to acknowledge our outstanding safety partnership with the general aviation community. ga pilots are known for their love of aviation but they are equally committed to advancing safety. their participation in the general aviation joint steering committee is of particular note. the steering committee meets quarterly to review accident trends, establish areas of special emphasis, and share information. in the past year alone, this group developed 29 separate safety enhancements to address loss of control accidents which is the most prevalent category of accidents facing this community. based on their recommendations,
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faa has made it easier to allow pilots to better monitor stall margins. in short, they actively pursue ways to enhance safety and that's what this partnership is all about. this committee has given the faa the authority to provide the level of safety we enjoy today . we look forward to working with you on the upcoming reauthorization to build on america's enviable aviation safety record. i'd be pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank you. i would like to call on the honorable christopher hart, the chairman of the national transportation safety board. chairman hart? >> thank you. good afternoon, chairman ayotte, ranking member cantwell and members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting the ntsb to testify this afternoon on the important topic of faa reauthorization. at the same time that we are enjoying an exemplary and improving safety record for commercial aviation, as you've heard from ms. gilligan, general aviation has not experienced the same improvements.
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through 2012, ntsb investigators gathered facts and issued probable cause determinations in about 1500 general aviation accidents each year. nations accidents each year. the good news is that in 2013 the number was reduced to 1224 crashes, but 221 of them were fatal and killed 387 people. each of these accidents is tragic and we have a duty to learn from them to help prevent other families from experiencing this loss. our 2015 most-wanted list includes several important priorities relating to aviation safety, distraction, public helicopter operations, loss of control in general aviation, procedural compliance, medical fitness for duty and ending substance impairment in transportation. each of these topics is discussed in more detail in my written statement. today i will focus on t importance of medical fitness for duty. we have investigated accidents in every mode of transportation that resulted from medical disorders.
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some medical conditions may result in denial of an airman medical certificate, but many medical condition but many others can be treated so pilots can continue to fly. in order to help ensure that disabling medical conditions can be distinguished more reliably from those that are not, we have issued recommendations asking for more a more comprehensive medical certification system in aviation and other modes of transportation. in aviation, this review is conducted in the first instance by a physician who is certified by the faa to be an aviation medical examiner, or ame. for example, we recommend pilot screening for obstructive sleep apnea. experience demonstrated that pilots diagnosed with osa but receiving treatment can operate safely. fatigue is a medical issue that can be caused by osa or other factors. the faa has taken strong steps to institute hours of service for commercial passenger pilots but have not done the same for cargo pilots. fatigue can affect everyone and all air operations should be treated the same whether carrying passengers or pallets.
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another issue that relates to ability to learn from accidents is updating airplane recorder technology. recorders significantly enhance our ability to determine what happened and give recommendations to prevent recurrences. from early days of the neets -- ntsb we have recommended that recorders be more robust because of the lessons learned in safety investigations and today, more than 40 years later we are again asking for more improvements to recorder technology. in january, we asked the faa to require commercial aircraft operating more than 50 nautical miles from shore be equipped to transmit their location within six nautical miles in the event of a crash and to require these aircraft be equipped with a low-frequency location device that will transmit their underwater location for at least 90 days. we also recommended a way to recover data without requiring underwater retrieval and that all these new requirements should be harmonized internationally. also accidents such as silk air in 1997, egypt air in 1999 and
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air france in 2009 remind us that seeing what is happening in the cockpit would help us know more about what caused an accident. so the ntsb also recommended that cockpits have image recorders to capture that information for at least two hours. the concern that image recordings may be abused is a reminder of the unease from years ago that cockpit voice recordings would be abused. but the industry has abundantly demonstrated its willingness and ability to use these recordings to improve safety rather than punish. there has been some discussion about the ntsb appeals process. we are committed to providing fair and speedy hearings for individuals and entities facing faa enforcement actions. we have implemented the changes to our system passed by congress in the 2012 pilots' bill of rights. among the changes are the removal of deference to the faa and the adherence by our law judges to the federal rules of evidence and federal rules of
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civil procedure to the extent practical. the safety of our airspace system depends on a thoughtful, experienced and timely review of the cases brought before us and i pledge to you that the ntsb will continue to provide all of these. this concludes my statement, i'll be very happy to respond to your questions. thank you for inviting us. >> thank you very much, chairman hart. now i would like to call on captain chesley sullenberger. he is an aviation safety expert and was captain of flight 1549 who was able to land on the hudson. we're happy to have you here, captain. >> chairman ayotte, ranking member cantwell, other members of the committee, it's my great honor to appear before this subcommittee. as the airline pilot, as the professional pilot here, i'm
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someone who has had 20,000 hours of flying time, much of that as a part 121 jet captain time. along with my first officer jeff skiles who is also here. i was in the cockpit of an airliner when we faced suddenly an ultimate challenge. i'm uniquely qualified to tell you exactly how important pilot experience is and why we must not compromise it. i deeply understand what's at stake. as you consider this faa reauthorization bill i want to say it's critical that you maintain the requirements and that you not weaken them, that you not give further credits for beyond what's already been allowed. you see, i've seen firsthand the real cost, the human costs of not having adequate levels of safety. no one knows better than that than the families of the victims of continental colgan air flight 3407 crash in buffalo new york on february 12, 2009, killing off 49 people aboard and one person on the ground.
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it was a terrible tragedy that resulted from the performance of the crew and safety deficiency, but even more concerning, the national transportation safety board investigation into this crash revealed these deficiencies reflected a systemic problem among regional carriers. it confirmed the airline industry has a two-class system where major airlines reflect the gold standard while some regional airlines take short cuts to save money wherever they can even even a potentially negatively impacting safety in their seemingly endless race to the bottom. these families advocated for improved safety measures. in the 100 congress in the passage of the airline administration act of 2010, congress got it right one of the most important elements of the act was the establishment of the atp 1500 hour standard for airline pilots and yet just two
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years since the safety standard went into effect airline lobbyists are trying to weaken the provision because they consider it to be inconvenient. let me correct some of the misstatements that have recently been made. it's only been in recent years that we have done something different in the airline industry or parts of it than we have done for the half century prior to that. for much of the history of commercial aviation pilot applicants often had several thousand hours of flying time before being considered to be a airline pilot. it's only been more recently that airlines in their race to the bottom have begun to recruit pilots with near the minimum experience. it's also important to note that there isn't a pilot shortage. so let me say that again. there is no pilot shortage in this country. what there is is a shortage of sufficient working conditions and wages at certain carriers to attract the most qualified
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applicants in the large numbers they sometimes need. we have heard some of the others on the other side talk about how the pilot licensing statistics have changed. what we are seeing is statistics uncorrelated in the basis of fact. what we're seeing is people talking about changes in pilot applications and not making a differentiation between recreational pilots and professional pilots. we also hear people talking about loss of air service to certain areas of the country. again, let me give those here a history lesson on the history of the airline industry. over the years, public companies for a variety of business reasons totally unrelated to pilot supply have changed levels of service around the country. let me give you just a few examples from my own personal experience. american airlines has reduced
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service to raleigh-durham, to nashville. northwest reduced service to memphis. delta reduced service to cincinnati. united reduced service to cleveland. all these business decisions had nothing to do with pilot supply and even if there are some carriers who are having a hard time recruiting the sufficient numbers of experienced pilots that they need, let me give you an analogy. if for example in parts of the country we were having a hard time recruiting enough physicians to serve rural areas, would we then advocate having a one-year or two-year medical degree? of course we would not. those who say we must have quality or quantity are posing a false dichotomy. of course we must, we can, we need to have both. every pilot who sits in a pilots seat needs to be a fully
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qualified pilot not an apprentice, not someone undergoing on-the-job training. they must be capable at a moment's notice of being the absolute master of every part of the airplane in every possible situation. so i ask you please do not allow those who are calling for concessions to enable them to continue to try to use an obviously broken economic model. hold fast. there are no shortcuts to pilot experience. there are no shortcuts to safety. the flying public demands nothing less. thank you. >> thank you captain. and i would now like to call on ms. fay malarkey black. miss black is the interim president of the regional airline association. ms. black? >> thank you chair ayotte, ranking member cantwell and
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members of the subcommittee. regional airline safety carried about 157 million passengers last year operating just under half the nation's passenger flights. we swerved 623 airports and at 394 of those we provide the only source of scheduled air service. regional airlines have made continuing voluntary advancements in safety and have implemented or enhanced important safety programs that, in fact, are now universal across the major regional airline sector. these do include gold standard safety standards like the foqla, and the aviation safety active program and aqp to name a few. in fact, the most wholistic safety innovation has been the on going implementation of sms which as ms. gilligan reflects focuses an organization's entire culture around safety. this defines modern regional airlines. as this committee knows well, federal regulations enacted in
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the past six years have brought about additional improvements, among these is the first officer qualification rule requiring airline first officers to hold an atp. to be clear, this rule has provided a framework to introduce enhanced training and knowledge for pilots. this carried many safety benefits. however we continue to express concern over the narrow provision requiring airline first officers to amass 1500 hours in flight before flying in part 121. historically, regional airlines hired qualified pilots upon completion of an academic aviation program or shortly thereafter. now there is a gap in the path of pilot development with pilots forced to suspend their training at a critical juncture to spend time building hours. most pilots build this time in unstructured environments. this is generally not time spent flying under instrument flight rules.
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this is not time spent in inclement weather conditions, it's not time spent managing complex avionics or learning to work as part of a team of professional crew members. in fact, airlines are discovering that pilots with these backgrounds face great difficulty adapting to structured airline operations. since the rule was implemented, airlines have needed to screen far more applicants just to find pilots who meet their own strict internal criteria. one of our airlines, for example, seeking to hire 800 pilots successfully attracted 2700 applicants. of those, just 400 met the airlines' own internal criteria. overall, carriers reported diminishing quality of applicants given the forced time-building culture with skills deteriorating over time. one airline put it this way: we waste a lot of time in training breaking bad habits pilots acquire while trying to quickly
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get to 1500 hours. a university of north dakota study highlighted these concerns comparing pilots hired before the rule with those hired after. the results showed pilots hired after the rule had a significantly higher number of total flight hours but were more likely to need additional training. and less likely to successfully complete training than those hired before the rule. far from wishing to weaken these important safety measures, our objective is to strengthen first officer qualifications and provide for even better pilot training. regional airlines will continue to do our part. we've already offered wage increases, signing bonus, enhanced flow through and bridge programs. airlines will continued a adjusting training programs and expending additional resources to ensure all new hire pilots
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have the skills to move from training into the ranks of qualified and competent line pilots. we can prevent the unintensed consequences that have developed by putting pilots into the professional ranks sooner in a thoughtful and intentional way. we are committed to enhancing the post-hire environment in a way that ensures the highest level of safety. in addition to the unintended hiring consequences we're seeing, airlines are reporting new constraints on flying. without pilots to operate all equipment, airlines will be forced to upgauge while parking smaller aircraft. as this committee knows well smaller aircraft are needed for smaller communities. the impacts already seen are just the beginning. before i close i'd like to discuss compensation. the marketplace and to a great extent collective bargaining determined pilot pay. we're seeing the marketplace react with significant signing bonuses for new hires that are increasing compensation through the the sector. however most regional airline wages are governed by collective
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bargaining agreements, these determine how existing salary resources are allocated among senior and entry level pilots. overall regional airline wages have been increasing, but the problem with the availability and the quality of new pilot candidates persist. we are proud that regional airlines have contributed an important and essential ways to the extraordinarily safe industry we are today. we're grateful for the steady oversight of this committee toward that end and its members and i thank you for the opportunity to participate today. thank you. >> thank you, ms. black. and we will now hear from mr. mark baker president and ceo of the aircraft owners and pilots association. mr. baker? >> thank you chairman ayotte, ranking member cantwell, members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me here today.
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as mentioned, i'm mark baker president and ceo of the aircraft owners and pilots association, a not for profit individual organization representing over 350,000 general aviation aircraft owners and pilots. my testimony today will make three key points, first, that general aviation is a national asset which is struggling partly because of an overly prescriptive regulatory environment. second, general aviation safety has improved significantly and can improve further if industry and government work together. third, that the general aviation is a critical juncture where regulatory changes, medical reform, grass-roots efforts can strengthen this important industry. in 2013, general aviation, or ga produced $219 billion in economic output and supported 1.1 million american jobs. but ga has experienced a significant decline in recent years, losing an average of 6,000 pilots per year. at the same time, the number of single-engine piston aircraft produced in the u.s. has fallen dramatically, from 14,000 in
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1978 to just 700 in 2014. we're working to reduce this trend, but we need the support of congress to create an environment that fosters growth. ga safety has dramatically improved in recent decades. we strongly believe it will continue to improve through education, technology, and rather than more stringent government oversight, policies or regulations. 62% of ga accidents result from three causes -- loss of control controlled flight into terrain, and engine failures. alpa along with the air safety institute and the government and industry partners is working to address these causes. alpa safety institute presides are free analysis regarding safety. asi produces the nation's premier safety report and offers more than 300 safety educated products. in 2014 the asi educational
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outreach exceeded two million interactions. alpa holds a leadership role in the joint steering committee which works to improve sensitivity through data-driven risk reduction efforts. alpa co-chaired the joint aviation joint steering committee two most recent working groups on loss of control and developed safety enhancements that are being implemented by government and industry. changing technology has made safety integrated uas drones into the flight environment increasingly important. alpa has worked closely with the faa to ensure regulation protects pilots, passengers and bystanders. we appreciate the faa's current regulatory efforts and last week provided by formal comments designed to close the gap in the proposed rule making. we look forward to working with faa to address other types of uas activities including providing additional education for rec creational operators. aopa and others have also
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recognized the need to better train and test new ga pilots, following a multiyear industry and government project, tests are now being reworked to ensure they're relevant, addressing knowledge, the skills and risks management. safety can be further enhanced with better and smarter aircraft. a cessna 172 manufactured today other than avianonics is essentially the same airplane that was designed and produced in 1955. for good reason, ford and chevy no longer produce 1955 fleets. but the cost of certification and economies of scale have slowed aircraft advancements. since 2008, faa and congress and the industry have been working to streamline and simplify part 23 certification standards which cover the manufacturing and altercation of aircraft. -- alteration. because of the average age, of the fleet is now 45 years old. compare that to a car built in 1970 before safety features like air bags and crumple zones. we must make it easier to bring these new safety equipment into older aircraft. while change is under way, it's moving very slowly.
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general aviation is at a critical point as evidenced by the trends i presented here, of the utmost tant importance to ga future is a third class medical reform. more than three years ago aopa and experimental aircraft association petitioned the faa to expand a policy used successfully for more than a decade. the fact that it's taken the faa so long to review what is essentially a limited expansion of existing standards highlights a need to reform procedures. to date, 100 bipartisan members of congress include manager of including many of you have recognized a need for reform and have co-sponsored the legislation which would expand faa's successful sport pilot medical certification standards. i'd like to say thanks to senators inhofe, mayotte, boozeman, casey, king, kirk, fisher hatch, helder murkowski, rand, roberts, round, shaheen, sullivan, tester, wicker and widen. in summary, ga needs your help. we look forward to working with
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the pilots bill of rights 2 in the upcoming faa reauthorization, both which stand to put our industry in a much needed climb. thank you. >> thank you, mr. baker. ms. gilligan i wanted to ask you for an update on the progress of the pilots' records database, and where the initiative stands and what we can expect in terms of it moving forward. >> thank you, senator. development of this database has proven to be quite a technical challenge. we have run a proof of concept. so we do know conceptually what it is we need to do in order to meet the requirements of the bill. what we've run into is that the amount of records that the bill would have us incorporate into the single pilot database is really creating the challenge. many records now and going forward will be automated records but the bill calls for the complete history of every
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pilot who is currently in the commercial system. and many of our pilots have been in the system for quite a long time. and their records are on paper or microfiesch or a number of other media that many of us remember but young people may have never heard of. and figuring out how to take and merge all of that has really created a challenge for us. in addition the cost of this system will be something faa has to look as as we go into future budget years as well. having said that, i think we're making good progress on trying to understand what are those challenges in addition to the mix of records, many of the records have personally identifiable information which we need to make sure we are protecting. obviously we want to build the security protections against cyber attack for this database. as we layer on these requirements, it has just been an extreme challenge that we and the technical folks in faa are grappling with and we expect to have a proposal in executive
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review hopefully in the short -- in the near future. short is probably not the appropriate word but the near future. >> thank you for the update. and we look forward as you put that proposal together sharing what the plans are with the committee as well as we put together the authorization. >> appreciate it. >> thank you. i wanted to also follow up with you on -- one of the things that from the hearing we had last week on certification, and this goes to chairman hart as well, one of the things that the certification process allows us to do is to ensure all technical and procedural steps are taken with obviously the air frames and everything we need to do to make sure there is aviation safety. the same time, we heard from stake holders that certification itself and potentially long delays of getting new equipment can actually mean that pilots
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fly without the latest innovation in safety equipment. so how -- can you comment on this and how do you approach the need to get our pilots the best tools while still ensuring we have the adequate review of that equipment, but to the extent that we can use technology to improve the -- what our pilots are using, i think it's important that they have the best technology at their hands. >> yes, chairman, we agree. i think mr. baker really hit on it. for the general aviation community, we are actively pursuing opportunities to introduce current technology into some of these older aircraft. one of the examples is the angle of attack indicator, a piece of equipment that allows a pilot to have much better situational awareness. and we believe it will dramatically reduce a loss of control types of accidents. we worked with the community to find a way to assure that it provided the pilot an appropriate level of safety without having to go back through the extensive
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certification some of those systems have historically required. we're looking at the same approach for helicopters, roto craft to be able to add what we're calling non-required safety equipment. so it's -- we don't require by regulation that it be on the aircraft so we agree the level of certitude we need to provide is substantially less than we've had for required equipment and bringing that together we'll see good improvements. >> great, thank you. i wanted to follow up on this issue of the pilots and the pilot shortage issue that there seems to be, obviously, a little bit of a debate here on what's driving the shortage or lack of shortage. and i also serve on the arms services committee and one of the things we've heard from, for example, the air force, is that they're worried that they're going to see a shortage of pilots going forward in terms of making sure that we can meet our needs on the military side as
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well. so i wanted to get your thought captain, on how do we ensure -- i know many of your -- many of your counterparts probably came from the military and then not all of them, but many of them have gone from military to commercial. how do we deal with this issue to make sure that the junior pilots have the right training coming through, and the pipeline it seems to me that what you say on the pay issue obviously that's something that is an important issue but in the interim, we've got this immediate issue that i think needs to be addressed. i wanted to get your thoughts on training, on how do we get that new talent pool coming faster. >> sure, i certainly will address that. may i just say one more thing before i answer? i have in my hand a letter written by anthony fox, secretary of transportation to the buffalo news on march 12.
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about safety standards and how they are not creating a pilot shortage. while i acknowledge that some view our pilot training and qualifications rules as the sole or principle reason for pilot shortages, i do not. we believe that low wages and the scarcity of certain types of planes are likely the most significant causes, not high safety standards. i just wanted to get that on the record. there are and have always been many pathways to qualified experienced pilots and there continue to be. i learned to fly in high school at the age of 16 and i became an air force fighter pilot and served six and a half years and then was an airline pilot for 30 years. of course, that pathway still exists. but there are fewer military pilots than there used to be. >> i'm married to an air force pilot so i understand. >> yes, of course you do. but one of the most encouraging things that we've seen since the airline safety act of 2010 was passed, since the enhancements
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were made, is the partnerships, the effective partnerships that have developed between aviation schools, between regional airlines and their major affiliate carriers. for example, we have a guaranteed interviews with regional airlines for graduates of approved schools. we have flow-throw agreements from the regionals to the majors. so there are clearly defined paths. we just need to make sure that when we set standards, that they are appropriate. as i said in my earlier remarks, historically it's an aberration for airlines to hire people with only a minimum amount of time. typically we've had thousands of hours of experience before you're considered even to be an airline pilot. so we need to fight this false dichotomy of quality or quantity. we need to have people who have both. and there are existing ways to do that. >> okay. my time is up. i appreciate it.
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ranking member cantwell. >> thank you, madam chair. i'm going to continue captain sullenberger and i want to say i think your testimony guided the debate as skillfully as you guided that plane to land in the hudson. and that is that this issue is about a broken economic model and about whether we're going to pay pilots enough money. i think that's the bottom line of your statement is that if you pay them, they will come. and the fact that you hit on so many of the issues that concerns me about the regional carriers who take a brand name from a major corporation. everybody thinks they're meeting the same standards as the brand. they're not. they think that they are meeting the same qualifications, they may not be. to me we're here because some people are suggesting that we take the 1500 hour requirement that is now required for pilots and for those who want an airline transportation pilot certificate and reduce that. prior to colgan air we were at
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250 hours. so if you could is maybe talk a little bit about why it's so important to have 1500 hours. maybe that would help people understand. i think people are trying to say, you know what? i got a business model, i've got to drive down my price so i think the co-pilot ought to have a lot less hours. so just tell us why that's wrong headed. >> again, a history lesson. it's been 80 years since there were in airline cockpits. for decades since then, we've had two fully qualified pilots in the cockpit. and let me tell you for very personal experience for me and my first officer jeff skiles on that sudden challenge of a lifetime flight to the hudson river, had jeff been less qualified, people would have died. had he not been so highly qualified that in that intention intense moment where there wasn't time in those 208 seconds we had from the time we lost
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thrust in engines until we landed to have a conversation about what had just happened and what we must do. i had to rely upon him based upon his own long experience. based upon having deeply internalized these well-learned fundamental skills. having developed his own judgment and understanding of our airline system and our machines and our profession to intuitively and immediately understand this developing situation as i did and then know what he should do to assist me. i didn't have time to direct his every action. so we were able to do something that outside the industry people find hard to understand. we collaborated wordlessly. that's what i'm talking about. if air france 447 taught us anything is that we must have a pilot in each seat throughout the flight who's not a multicrew pilot license pilot mpl, who's not a cruise pilot, who's able to quickly and effectively intervene when things go wrong
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after thousands of hours of them going right. that's the challenge that we faced. what's the secret sauce? and as i said, there are no short cuts here. we must -- we know what we must do. we just have to have the integrity and courage to follow through and make sure that we do it. when we don't do it, people die. it's really that simple. >> thank you. i don't think i could have said it better, but i do want to point out the sim situation happened with the culligan air pilot. a young woman was the copilot, very little training flew all night, was even maybe sick and you're right. in a disastrous moment, the copilot has to decide, the copilot has to help. >> they were not, and i'll give you specific reasons why. on the cockpit voice recorder, we hear her say she hadn't been in these icing conditions before. colligan air trained them on a flight simulate they're was not
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equipped to replicate an important safety device, the activation of the stick pusher, a device that pushes their controls forward to lower the nose when they approach a stall. that obviously surprised the captain renslow. he reacted inappropriately. and in terms, i wanted to follow up on one other thing about the regional airline association advocating that people with fewer hours get credit and go straight to regional airline seats so they can continue their education, continue their on-job training. the captain on the colgan air flight was hired by gulfstream at 600 hours, bypassing other processes at other carriers at other jobs leading to an ultimately needless and preventible tragedy. for those who say these rules in 2010 were the result of a single crash, again, not historically not correct. there was a whole litany of regional crashes, kirksville, missouri, kentucky, and others leading up to this.
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this was the most recent, most egregious one that finally helped us to achieve the public awareness in the political world will to finally act to solve this systemic problem. >> thank you captain sullenberger. my time has expired. madam chair? >> i thank you. senator nelson. >> ms. black, is it true that first officers on regional airlines for a starting salary are paid $16,000 a year? >> according to the industry statistics that i have, the first year, first officer wages are at an average of between $22,000 and $24,000 per year. >> do any regional airlines pay a starting salary of $16,000? >> i'm not aware that they do. >> well, i have been told that they do. and i just wanted to point out
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that 138% of poverty, which makes someone eligible for medicaid, is just a little over $16,000 for an individual. and to think that that's who we would be putting into the right seat of the cockpit on a regional airline does not build confidence in the traveling public. madam chairman, what i want to do is let our members -- i just want to ask the captain, birds are attracted to water, and many airports are next to water. why don't we have more accidents with birds, which you have encountered, and have become such a hero?
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>> and of course, senator, that's especially true in florida and places like that. >> correct. >> as populations of birds have grown and as the number of flights has increased, we are seeing increasing numbers of bird strikes. most bird strikes involve only one or two small birds. of course, what happened to us was an entirely different event. we encountered a large flock of large birds, several dozen. migrating birds, canada geese, several dozen. we saw them about 2 1/2 to 3 seconds before we struck them, but clearly not enough time to avoid them. and they struck the airplane across the leading edges of the wings, the nose and into the center of the core of both jet engines, damaging them irreparably. it's a matter of chance, quite frankly. most of the warnings we get at airports are general in nature and not particularly useful. and of course, migratory birds could be anywhere. there are things we can do, though.
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the good news is for resident birds when they roost and flock in a specific place, we can discourage them from being near airports. that's by avoiding food sources, not allowing large bodies of water, marshlands, wetlands to be near an airport. sources of food, that sort of thing. the problem this country is that while we have a national air transportation system, airports typically are owned and administered locally. and so our entire safety system for wildlife mitigation really is dependent upon local authorities having the ability to stand up to powerful interests, sometimes developers and others who might want to put incompatible uses near airports. and that's an ongoing issue and it continues to be so of great concern. >> thank you. senator wicker. >> thank you very much. let me follow up on the issue of
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pilot training requirements. and i realize safety is paramount, but a number of constituent groups out there are asking how much is enough and how much training is -- amounts to a disincentive and a hindrance to the smaller areas. in 2013, faa issued a final rule decrying all airline pilots and first officers hold airline transport pilot certificates. this requires 1,000 hours. previously, it was 250 hours of flight time.
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gao observed that fewer students are entering pilot training programs. and that other opportunities, whether overseas, in the military, or in corporate aviation, may be steering pilots away from positions with the lower paying regional carriers. so ms. black, as a representative of the regional airline association, help us understand your perspective there. of course, realizing that safety is paramount. what types of solutions could the federal government, whether the faa or congress, implement to increase the number of pilots available for hiring by regional airlines? >> thank you. what i think we need to focus on is the holistic approach to really providing for the intent
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of getting the well-trained proficient first officers into the cockpits of our commercial airliners. and that starts by looking at the kids when they're children in s.t.e.m. outreach and our organization has started to do that. as mr. sullenberger reflected, some of the other things that are important are bridge programs and flow through programs that give the student a defined career path with certainty from the beginning to when he or she first dreams of flight to the retirement flight. but what's missing right now is a seamless pathway. certainly the certificates that the faa are issuing are declining. there are fewer students entering. there are fewer coming out. and we're seeing that at the regional airlines. and now, since the rule, again, this very narrow portion of it that requires 1500 hours in flight, has meant that after they graduate from their structured training program, that they've got to go out and build time. and they do so at their own
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time, their own significant expense. so this introduces some uncertainty there. we think it's worsened the growing pilot shortage. so what we propose is to take the students earlier in their time. after they graduate from the structured training programs and build some time and put them into the right seat of the commercial airliners. now, i want to be clear. this is an education. we're not teaching them to fly. they come to us knowing how to fly, and training is ongoing. training is ongoing at regional airlines and mainlines. training is constant when you upgrade on equipment and it's done right, and it's done professionally. and regional airlines have world-class training programs that rival that of our mainline partners. so we look to restore the pipeline, again, from the first flight and provide some certainty until the pilot is placed into our well structured airline safety and systems training programs, and we think that will restore a great deal of confidence for young people looking forward.
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now, to be clear, the marketplace has to react, and we have seen that. the pilot wages are increasing. we've got one airline who has first-year signing bonus and a retention bonus that effectively raises their starting salary to higher than some mainline airlines. yet, that airline in particular is unable to fill its new hire classes right now. when i hear this is just an economic model, i think economics play a role there, and that's part of it, but we need to look beyond that. and we need to develop the pilot pipeline and restore it and keep it seamless. >> okay. well, thank you. i only have half a minute remaining. ms. gilligan, i think i'll just submit a question on the record for you. about the contract tower program and stress that the senate and house continue to strongly support the faa contract tower program on a bipartisan basis,
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and request you to comment on the record about any recommendations faa may have for reauthorization bill to insure that this program is enhanced and protected. thank you. madam chair. >> thank you, senator wicker. i think certainly after our hearing last week, it's important, many members of the committee share the support for the contract tower program, so i look forward to the answer to senator wicker's question. thank you. now i would like to call on senator klobuchar. >> thank you very much, madam chair. a lot of interest in the hearing. i'm pretending those are lines of people trying to get in that you just heard. thank you so much, and i also wanted to welcome the colgan flight 3407 people that are here today, members of the families. we've worked with you especially on the bill on pilot fatigue. and captain sullenberger, i
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thought i would start with that. i want to thank you for your continued attention to improving the fatigue standards. and can you share your perspective on why we should not continue to have two levels of safety regulations for passenger and cargo planes? >> thank you, senator. i would be glad to address that. just as much as the 2010 airline safety bill was regulatory success, the cargo carve-out, the exclusion of cargo operators in the improvements in the new fatigue rule is as much a regulatory failure. and it's one that's hard to understand. it's one that's clearly the result of economic pressures and not a safety argument. we have learned in the last decades much about the science of fatigue. we know how predictable it is. it's predictable as the sun rise and the sunset, obviously. and it results in predictable negative effects on human awareness, attention, short term memory, performance, and judgment. it's ironic in the extreme that
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the pilots who are doing the flying that require the most protection from fatigue are the ones who are specifically excluded from the rule. every night, all night, and much of the day, cargo pilots share the same air space, the same airports with commercial passenger flights. they fly all over the whole country. over each of our houses. at 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., looking for the airport. we owe it to every american to right this wrong. >> thank you so much, captain. and ms. gilligan, is there any thought with the faa of changing this? i know that basically that wasn't the case when you looked at this, but is there any case of reconsidering this after the decision was made to exempt cargo pilots before? >> senator, we actually think there are other ways that we are expecting the cargo carriers to
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address the risks posed by fatigue. the bill itself required all carriers including cargo carriers have a fatigue risk management plan that required that the carrier look at specifically at their schedules and using the current science that we have for fatigue, determine if any elements of their schedule provided the possibility that the pilots would be fatigued, and they are required through that plan to address that risk. in addition, we now have the requirement for safety management systems which is also applicable to the cargo carriers. that broader system will require that they identify whatever risks they have in this case the risk of fatigue. because cargo operations are a very different from passenger operations and the scheduling is very different, we believe the safety management systems approach will actually assure a better level of safety for the cargo carriers. they will analyze their schedules. if any of those fall into the red, they will have to address that risk. >> okay. thank you. and again, we'll continue to
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pursue this with you. mr. baker, i know you touch on this in your opening statement, and i just wanted to let you now senator mikulski and i did the billiton small airplane revitalization act. we're so happy it passed into law, and i'm as frustrated as you are that we don't have the faa meeting the timeline to get the rules out. they're very important. i have cirrus in my sate as you know. and we think there's safety benefits. i want you to know we're continuing to pursue that. i just actually have one last question that i sort of came up with after being on a flight recently next to someone who was a little bigger than me. and i know that there's been some issues with some of the planes having smaller spaces. i guess i would ask you, ms. gilligan, about this. and we have rules for space for pets and we have no rules for space for humans, and over the past decade, seat pitch has
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decreased from 34 to 28 inches, as you know. when the faa is testing the safety of new aircraft, does the faa also test for a variety of seat sizes? particularly as it impacts the ability to evacuate an aircraft, and is the faa or department of transportation taking any action to examine any potential risk from limited seat sizes on commercial aircraft? >> we have done research on both seat size and seat pitch. we do it based around what is called cueing theory, the ability for people to get out quickly. and we do set those standards to assure the most evenflo of passengers out of the aircraft in the event of an emergency. so any of the aircrafts that are approved do meet those standards. >> and so, has there been any renewed look at this given it appears there are some smaller seat sizes that we're starting to see lately? >> i'm not aware that the seat sizes are smaller.
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whatever is installed does meet the standards that are required to provide the appropriate level of safety for emergency evacuation. and all of those -- >> including -- i guess they have changed in the last decade. so from 34 to 28 inches. >> but each new design must be tested to assure that emergency evacuation can be accomplished. >> all right, thank you. >> senator moran? >> chairwoman, thank you very much. ms. gilligan, the faa's 2004 sport pilot rule allows private pilots to fly small aircraft without a third class medical certificate under certain safety restrictions. the issue i want to explore is altitude. is there a clearly defined safety benefit for one altitude over another? i think theory is that pilots maybe can fly lower than the
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18,000 feet, the floor for class a airspace. what should we know about safety based upon the ability to fly at various altitude levels? >> well, senator, i think there are a couple elements to that. i'm sure mr. baker can expand upon it as well. the one you point out is that the structure within the airspace tends to separate aircraft based on the sort of technical abilities of the aircraft. lower airspace is not as conducive to jet operation, for example, or to commercial operations. higher altitudes allow them to be more efficient. so there are some elements of the airspace design that suggest separation of operations by altitude. >> my question is, can we make safety considerations different at lower altitudes because larger commercial aircraft are flying at higher altitudes? >> well, of course, all of the commercial aircraft pass through those lower altitudes at least for departure and arrival.
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but there are some differences that we do apply within those different airspaces depending on exactly what the operations are that are in that environment. is that helpful? >> it's helpful. i guess what i was trying to find out is what difference does it make whether the threshold is 14,000 feet or 18,000 feet or 10,000 feet on the safety considerations for private pilots. >> one of the safety considerations is related to 10,000 feet and below, because at those altitudes, the aircraft does not need to be pressurized. so you don't add the added risk that you would lose pressurization and the pilot would become -- would lose consciousness. that's separate from the airspace issue that you raised initially. there are element of the air space design that addresses safety risk and some elements related to altitude that assure the pilot a little more protection from what might be a safety risk. >> thank you very much. ms. black, anything you would like for me to know about the topic?
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>> to be more clear about it. i think the idea that you need supplemental oxygen above 500 for any length of time. and it can be just canals in your nose to safely fly up to 18,000 feet. but above 18,000 feet you're required to have a pressure mask on. so it's full-on oxygen. you could still fly up to 27,000 or 30,000 feet, but it's a different type of mask. i don't see any safety issues as long as you're doing what you're required to do, as a safety issue. >> thank you. let me turn to -- let me come back to you, mr. black. we're hearing about pilot shortage. what is it that aopa and others, what can pilot schools do to promote -- when i was a kid in high school, we had civil air patrol, and all us kids got interested in civil air patrol. i know it still exists, but what could be done for a different generation to address some of
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the issues that get excited about flying and can address some of the issues about pilot shortage and compensation. how do we make this a career path for additional americans? >> it's a great question. we're testing a coupe of programs now called the you can fly program, which will be the 150, 152 cessnas. if you have ever been around them, it's what most people learn to fly in. we've got a number of those in the states right now, and we're trying to get people actively involved in joining a flying club. but even starting a little bit earlier in the game working with a number of high schools we have a program that we call stem-a, science, technology, engineering, math and aviation. we are finding best practices that get people involved with educators. a career decision, or frankly for recreational flying as well. but we want to get involved with the high school training programs and start showing what we know works and remind people they can afford to fly with the flying clubs that
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makes flying affordable if they want to do it for recreation as well. we want to reenergize general aviation. >> your organization or others are interested, we would love wichita, kansas, others places in kansas to be a part of the process. if i can help encourage stem-a and encourage people to have an interest in becoming pilots professionally or as a hobby, a sport for personal enjoyment, please include me in it if there is any way i can be of assistance. >> senator, may i quickly add? >> yes, sorry. >> my first officer jeff styles and i for four years immediately after our famous flight were co-chair of the eaa young eagles program, which is a worldwide program to encourage youth to be enthusiastic about flying. and in fact, to get them a first flight with a volunteer pilot, to connect the dream with the reality. so that's something we're very familiar with, and eaa young eagles is a big program that encourages thousands to do just that. >> captain, great to know that, and you would have the standing, the stature, that would excite
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young people today. and i appreciate your interest and involvement in that program. my time has expired. i would only say in concluding, ms. black, that the issue of reliability of air service by regional companies in my state of kansas and i assume across the country it's a serious challenge. it's hard for people to make decisions about flying a regional jet. i have been a champion of essential air service since i came to congress. there was a commitment to made to many of my communities in my state. and we go out and fight here in congress for the financial support of essential air service. but if we have a regional carrier that fails to provide the reliability, the reliable service, people are having a difficult time deciding whether to buy a ticket on some scheduled regional airlines with the uncertainty of whether or not that flight is actually going to take off. the explanation is often that there is a pilot shortage. but it sure makes it difficult for us to continue to advocate
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for regional service and essential air service that is a component of that without that reliability. >> i think when we restore -- may i respond? >> yes, ma'am. >> i think when we restore certainty to the pipeline and we can get more stability, a lot of those issues will be resolved. we have one carrier that served 64 communities that is now serving 32. that's one of the examples of the victims of the piet pilot shortage in those communities. and that's something that we're seeing. it's not just the eas carriers, but all of our carriers. every day, carriers are cancelling revenue flights. i'm very close to the program and a shared advocate, and we think that's really important. we know that that ability to use the service, the ability to know it's going to take off when you want it to for business especially, is essential. i think this is critical. this is very critical issue for essential air service. and another issue that we have is with some of the pilot supply issues with carriers being unable to even bid on those
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routes. you get more and more carriers bidding under the alternate eas program, so here you have carriers who aren't even required to meet the atp regulations that are filling this contract flying because the other carriers that were filling the flying before can't fill the flying anymore. >> thank you. thanks, chairman. >> senator manchion. thank you and thank you all of you for being here, and to all of the family members of those of flight 3407, thank you for not wavering at all and trying to help us make the skies safer. let me say this, on the pilots bill of rights, we have introduced that and you're familiar with that. we have been working on that for quite some time. on the fundamental problems we tried to fix was the appeals process. i would ask you, since you have been working this so hard, are the pilots today getting a fair and unbiased review of the faa decision in u.s. district court?
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>> if i understand the question correctly, the process of appeals through the ntsb i think it was clear that a number of years ago it was quite a bit worse and it has improved steadily. while i'm not concerned, there are people hung up in the system and there should be a circuit breaker, if you will, in how we approach those kind of legal issues. while it's improved much, i still think there's room for improvement. >> being a pilot myself, i have 3,000 hours, but my hours were accumulated, captain, over 40 something years. i would ask as far as a safety standpoint, the time, the 1500 hours, i don't think i have to agree with you. going backwards would not be a way for us to -- you know i just -- respect for ms. black, i disagree with the direction you're going on this from a safety standpoint. i know the decisions i have to make, but i'm asking on the simulator count, does that count toward the 1500 hours? >> no. >> no simulator at all. >> no. >> i think there is some credit
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for university experience, classroom experience. >> okay the 1500 you accumulate when you're a copilot flying second seat? does that accumulate? is it all pilot command? 1500 hours pilot in command? >> if i could try to help, and we'll get you the actual breakdown, but it is -- there are some circumstances where taking the second seat can be counted as that flight time. it depends on how the aircraft is designed and certified. so if it is certified for a two-man crew, that time does count. if it's certified for a single pilot only, even though they may have a second pilot, that time does not always -- >> the 1500 hours in the type of flying or 1500 hours flying? >> no. you must have 1500 hours of flight time before you can apply for the airline to be a pilot. >> i could apply with the hours i have? >> correct. >> i don't think you want me in the left seat right now flying around the country. >> you also need a type rating now. >> type rating. the other thing is there any time period, a period of time in
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1500 hours within what period of time? >> no, sir. neither the statute or the rules limit that. >> i have 3,000 hours. if i go back and get type rating, i could -- >> so the 1500 hours qualifies you to take the airline transport pilot test along with some additional specific training and high altitude and weather operations that you must demonstrate that you had as well. and then you must pass through those tests. and if you were to be hired by the airline, you then receive training on the aircraft type and receive your type rating. >> i understand all that. to both of you, captain, i'll go to you first. you're saying there is no pilot shortage. there's people coming into the the system. we'll call it into the cue. basically they'll be doing that. you're saying that the regionals are not paying the price to basically get those quality of people in there, and i think ms. black is saying completely different because she's not getting the pilots she needs and she has to lower the criteria for them to get the pilots. am i correct in what i heard both of you?
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>> no, if i could just -- >> real quick, and then the captain. >> yeah, there are, senator, 110,000 pilots in this country with airline transport certification. there are another 65,000 who could quickly get it. really the issue, and it has been for several years, that there are some companies that just aren't good places to work. and the word has gotten out. and the first officer on the colgan air flight was making $16,400 a year. she was based in newark, could not afford an apartment, even to share one, where she was based. she was commuting from her parents' home in seattle. on a poverty level wages, probably qualified for food stamps, that is the reality of that life. >> even more disturbing than that, they put her on a flight where she had no icing conditions in flying in winter weather and not prepared. i can't -- it's unfathomable for me to think --
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>> it's -- >> that anyone at regional would put her in that situation. she even knew she wasn't qualified for that, correct? >> she obviously didn't feel uncomfortable with that. >> that's tough -- >> to the extent there's a problem, it's been self-inflicted by the industry for paying low wages and having bad working conditions for so many years that there is a perception if you want to have a successful career, you might look elsewhere in the financial world, for example, and not become a pilot. >> ms. black, giving you the final on that. >> thank you. >> explain to us, they changed the criteria of the quality of the pilot and what they're prepared to fly and what type of weather? >> sorry? >> do you make determinations? are you looking at the person's qualifications, how they got the hours, where they accumulated the hours, did they do it all in florida and not in the east northeast where there are weather conditions? >> i think that question really speaks to the heart. first, when i say we don't want to roll back the safety. we don't want to move backwards. we're proposing an alternative
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and i think we're doing it in large part because we're seeing negative unintended consequences from the 1500 hours. because flight time does not equal the experience. when i hear you want to hire an experienced pilot, i agree, but i don't agree 1500 hours in an unstructured environment is where you're largely flying in fair weather is going to get it. and it actually speaks to the point. >> what makes a point if they're one thousand or 1500 or 500? they're going to accumulate the same way. quickly as we can. >> we have seen data that after 500 hours, there is negative learning. so folks pick up bad habits. >> you survive 1500 hours, you had to make some decisions. indeed you do indeed you do. but there is's no guarantee that 1500 hours is actually spent in a scenario-based environment. really, it's not contributing to what you see in a commercial airline cockpit. now that said what i think we can do is propose an alternate pathway that takes advantage of the scenario-based training that you get. it certainly does include some flying, but the flying is done in a structured environment. there's a room for flight instruction. there's a room for the
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traditional pathway, but at some point after around 500 or 750 hours, if you are away from your time in training you come out of these great structured training programs, and then we say to you now have to spend a year building time away from your training, i find it surprising that -- there's -- it certainly seems commonsensical that you would lose your skills over time. it seems natural your skills would deteriorate and we're seeing that. our airlines are seeing a diminished quality of the applicants. this is a very real situation. it gets to heart of a pilot's professional development to be able to seamlessly go. we're prepared to make the investment. the characterization that we are trying to cut costs or don't want to make the investment is just not true. safety is an investment that we willingly take, but we think we need to restore a pathway that makes sense, that takes a pilot from structured training, that prepares them not just as ms. gilligan says, to respond to an
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emergency, but to prevent it in the first place. >> sure, you can understand that if there's a person who has been in the left seat for 20,000 hours telling us one thing, and you're representing an organization, you would think that maybe we might lean a little bit towards the experience? >> but i could ask you to look at the data. >> i understand that, but i'm a pilot, too, so i understand. and there's no disrespect, but we're going to be leaning that direction, probably, a little bit more. sorry. my time is up. i'm so sorry, madam chairman. >> we might forgive you this time. thanks, senator manchion. i would like to call on senator fischer. thank you. >> thank you, madam chairman. ms. gilligan, you noted in your testimony that between 1998 and 2008, the fatality risk for commercial aviation in the united states fell by 83%. and i commend the faa and the aviation industry for this tremendous accomplishment. can you provide the committee details on how the faa is
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cooperated with industry and other stakeholders to reach this goal, and what has the role of technology been in reaching this goal? >> thank you, senator. we believe that the commercial >> thank you, senator. we believe the safety team a partnership between faa nasa dod, and the commercial aviation industry had a large role to play in the safety improvements that we've seen. it's hard to say, as an industry, we implemented x and because of that, we saved this many accidents. you can't make that direct correlation, but we do know that voluntarily, we in the industry implemented a number of safety enhancements in the time period and believe the record speaks for itself that that kind of partnership, you look at the data, you understand where the hazards are, and you agree on what mitigates risks, and implement and measure implementation is what we account for the improvements we've seen. many of the safety enhancements included technology
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improvements. their technology allows opportunity for the pilot to be better informed, have better situational awareness, and oftentimes provides additional time for the pilot to respond to the hazardous event that's occurring. that's. important. pilot training standard operating procedures, all of those pieces of the system have help to reach that record. >> thank you. mr. baker, in your written testimony, you mentioned one of the major causes of general aviation accidents is loss of control. which remits 40% of all regime aviation accidents. how is general aviation community, how are you working to address the loss of control accidents, and what specific challenges would you face in that? >> well, as mentioned early on one of the great devices that's come out of our -- call it the first test device to make sure we move through the pathway
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which is angled attack. i flown a number of complex jets, a device tells you if you're about to lose control of the aircraft. now they've invented and kind of made a product now for a couple thousand dollars to put in an airplane that gives you if you're getting close to a stall, electronically or physically. a device we're waiting for approval to get done and on there. our role is continued training, reminding people about stall training is fundamental to aviation. we had over 2 million hits on the site to make sure we're really at the forefront of training, and that's the number one issue. >> okay, thank you. ms. black, we've heard about the challenges for regional airlines in recruiting pilots. i hear that all the time from my airports in nebraska. what are some of the ways that the regional airlines are working to recruit and retain
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pilots who are returning from military service? have you focused on that at all? looking at trying to bring military people into jobs within the industry? >> we have. the first step towards -- >> i guess i would ask you, if you're doing it what do we need to do and how congress can help and maybe what changes need to happen within the faa in that as well? >> well, certainly the rule and congress reflects the importance and great structure of military training. by giving it 750 hours credit, there are fewer military pilots coming out. there's more of those there that are staying in the military for longer and fewer military pilot operations in general, so we're seeing that. in terms of our efforts as an industry looking at ways to get more military pilots first step is really identifying where our
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carriers hire the pilots and so we're in that process now, and so we'll reach out to you as we get further along. again, i think all pathways to have certainty for it, just so the aviator knows coming out of the structured training program to go to the seat of an airline and flow through is important. we talk about the flow-through programs that we have. we're proud of them. they are effective. we need a little bit more help with the pathway. >> okay. i hope you'll be in contact with my office and let us know if we can help you in any way getting the former military personnel into that. thank you. >> we certainly will. >> thank you madam chair. >> thank you, senator. >> senator danes? >> thank you, madam chair. mr. baker, i'm a sponsor of the bill of rights too and believe the third class medical reform will help reverse the trend of the declining general aviation pilot population while maintaining the appropriate level of safety of pilots flying
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for private and recreational purposes. your testimony mentioned that medical reform has potential to improve safety by keeping pilots in the airplanes they are most familiar with. could you expand on that a little further? >> yes. the faa, about a dozen years ago, started down this path with testing mode called light sport aircraft, aircraft that are designed to be flown under 1326 pounds i think is the exact number. older planes like the j3 cub of the 1930s qualifies as a light sports aircraft and then it expanded to aircraft companies built with that purpose in mind to be under 1300 pounds. in many cases those planes are find and do well but in bigger wind, wind in montana, i know, and it's a little harder to control their aircrafts so forcing the pilots the 172 aircraft, person does not go down the medical path, goes to
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light aircraft, and they are not as familiar with, potentially or capable to fly ins. >> that helps. do you think this will help prevent the decline of a pilot population which i believe is averaging about 6,000 pilots per year? >> i do. you know, there's over 350,000 pilots under age 75 that are on the sidelines today and there's a number of reasons economic, family, all kinds of them. we believe a significant percentage stays in the game and playing longer if they were not burdened with the outdated regulatory issue. >> thank you, mr. baker. ms. gilligan, shifting gears to eastern montana. we had discussed the ongoing safety concerns from our general aviation pilots really in expansion of the powder river training complex in eastern montana. that's the moa there, that's the part of the ellsworth. as the administrateor in charge of safety of the faa, i'd like
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to discuss a safety of the air space surrounding the baker airport in montana. originally, the idea was launched years ago, a sleepy part of southeast montana. well, it's been waking up with the energy boom keystone pipeline route in the middle of it, baker onramp, 100,000 barrels of oil a day right near the baker airport. the faa said they would take this -- called an adaptive management approach to the implementation of the air space. could you describe what adaptive management means? maybe some of us to the faa, what does adaptive management look like? >> well, sir, i'm not fully familiar with all the details of this particular project, and we certainly can provide that to you and your staff to make sure you have a full understanding of it, and what we are looking at is how we manage both growth and appropriate levels of safety at the same time. growth is a risk factor, and we
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need to understand how the air space -- air traffic, whatever, can manage that growth to assure an appropriate level of safety and air traffic organization does safety risk analysis to be sure that's properly handled. >> yeah that baker airport has over 7,000 app newel operations and i think that's the concern is where it's all headed here with the growth and would radar coverage, would realtime communication between air traffic control military and civilian aircraft, would that help reduce the risk thinking about adoptive management approach? >> it may well, sir. that's what the safety risk analysis would have to address. i believe the safety risk analysis has been completed or underway for the particular project, and through that, we'll identify if risks are being or hazards are introduced and what the mitigations, what mitigations would be required to address it. >> and then along the lines
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here, your testimony highlights the faa's pro active identifying risks to prevent accidents, and as part of the flying public i thank you for that. and specifically, the successful commercial aviation safety team, the cast model which uses data development and understanding of the best actions or interventions to prevent accidents, do you know, and this may be getting in the weeds here with the powder river moa, but do you know if the cast model has been used in active military operations? >> well, the department of defense is a member of the commercial aviation safety team, but, again, sir, we tend to look at systemic broader issues that perhaps individual members of the team can't really address on their own. >> would they -- >> that particular is is not something the safety team has taken on. >> they are not necessarily taking that methodology and
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using that as far as you know of? >> not that i know of. >> thank you, i'm out of time. >> i used to fly out of the dulles air force base range complex, and while there was restricted as well as moas realtime traffic provided realtime use statistics of the air space often made it available to civilians, and i think the range complex would be a model that you might want to consider looking at. >> thank you for that, and by the way, i texted my son and said i was in a hearing with you, and he texted back and said a true american hero. that's saying something from a son i'm very proud of. >> thank you. >> senator sullivan. >> i echo those comments. this is a great panel. so, really really appreciate everybody's testimony very informative. we are in agreement on the


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