‘Dangerous situations’: Unions warn pilots to stay focused on flying, not vaccine mandates

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American and Southwest Airlines pilots are being warned that Vaccine Mandate Issues out of the cockpit due to potential flight safety concerns.

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The Allied Pilots Association, which represents America’s 14,000 pilots, sent a memo to members on Tuesday, citing increased distractions due to the increasing deadline for vaccination and increasingly divided views on the subject.

Subject Line: “Distraction cannot affect security.”


“We are seeing distractions in the flight deck that could create a dangerous situation,” the memorandum to the union’s safety committee said.

Union spokesman Dennis Tajer said talk of a self-reporting vaccine mandate in the number of pilots or the Federal Aviation Administration is worrying because there have been distractions on the job.

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Tajer called the increase a “big, big deal” in the FAA’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) report. He compared the program to a “see something, say something” report.

“It doesn’t mean that an incident happened,” he said.

But it does mean that pilots voluntarily reported some level of engagement with the vaccine mandate—whether as a distraction, against or indifferent to it. He said pilots should attach their names to reports, which are designed to be informative, not punitive.

The union says another flight feedback system, using input from inflight auditors not affiliated with the airline, confirms the increase in distractions.

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Tazar said some distractions are expected during this “stressful” time as some pilots fear they will soon lose their jobs if they do not get vaccinated. But he said it is essential that pilots put those concerns aside and focus on their jobs.

“It’s not a scolding message, it’s a reminder message,” he said. “I hear you, I hear you on that (vaccine mandate), but let’s get back to the (flight) checklist.”

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) sent a similar alert to its pilots on October 9. recession That some blamed on a pilot walkout over vaccine issues. company and association vehement denial That was the reason, but it didn’t stop those opposing the vaccine mandate, including Sen. Ted Cruz, from cheering on the pilots. social media.

The memo from Southwest pilots acknowledged that increased fatigue this year has been a distraction among pilots as travel has increased and staffing could not make up. NS Vaccine Mandate The announcement, it said, “only aggravates the situation”.

“We are not here to debate the merits of the vaccine mandate. We are here to emphasize that the focus of every SWAPA pilot should be on operating aircraft at the highest level of safety in the industry,” the union memo said. . There is nothing more important or sacred than this.’

Like American’s Pilots Union, Southwest cited an increase in reports ASAP to the FAA, as well as other measures of distraction.

“Recent ASAP reports have shown that distractions have entered the cockpit, hindered performance, and have become a contributing factor to multiple error chains,” the memo said. “These distractions should be minimized.”

The FAA said in a statement to Granthshala that it is aware of the pilots union’s concerns.

“We take all reports seriously and will follow our well-established security programs,” the statement said.

Airlines Subject to Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors President Joe Biden announced in September Because they carry government employees and US mail and operate charter flights. Delta estimates that federal contracts bring in “hundreds of millions” in revenue each year.

Major airlines are taking different approaches to complying with mandates and vaccinations in general. United is at the forefront of implementing a internal mandate A month before Biden’s federal mandate.

Instead of a mandate, Delta Air Lines plans Blame the employees who refused the vaccine $200 per month.

American tells employees they risk being terminated if they don’t get vaccinated by an imminent deadline, while Southwest says it will not fire employees But it did not say what would happen to those who were not vaccinated. The airline, trying to keep peace with workers, some of whom protested at the airline’s headquarters earlier this week, is encouraging workers to apply for exemptions.

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