Today I read a letter [...]


Today I read a letter from Canoll about how AOPA is making the skies less safe for it’s ALPA brethren. AOPA has been working for years to modify the private pilot requirements for the medical. Essentially eliminating the 3rd class requirement in lieu of a drivers license. I grew up in GA, and for the most part I think this might help get more people in/back to GA. It’s dying along with our profession. I strongly disagree with ALPA’s position. They shouldn’t be sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

For those who may have missed the ALPA nationally wide broadcast E-mail:

July 27, 2015
As you may know, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) filed a petition for exemption with the FAA that would give pilots the option of conducting certain operations without having to hold an FAA medical certificate. The FAA has not yet acted on this request.
Currently, legislation is pending in the U.S. Congress that would implement the request made by AOPA/EAA through legislative mandate. Late last week, there was an attempt to attach this legislation, referred to as the "Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2," to the surface transportation reauthorization legislation. Complex aviation safety issues have no place on a highway bill—period.
ALPA’s sole responsibility is to advocate for its members in their capacity as professional airline pilots. ALPA’s long-standing policy as adopted by its Board of Directors is to maintain the highest level of safety within the national airspace system. As such, ALPA has weighed in on the proposed amendment due to its obligation to the safety of our members in their capacity as airline pilots. The proposed amendment introduces risk that takes a step backwards from maintaining the highest levels of safety. If not for how this legislation impacts the safety of the airspace in which our members fly, ALPA would not weigh in on this matter.
On July 23, ALPA president, Capt. Tim Canoll, sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging them to vote "no" on an amendment by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to the highway bill.
In his letter, he outlined ALPA’s opposition to this amendment:
?This legislation has the potential to allow medically unfit pilots unfettered access to the national airspace at altitudes up to 18,000 feet with aircraft large enough to accommodate 6 occupants, at speeds up to 250 knots, in airspace which includes commercial airline traffic carrying passengers and cargo.
?It would eliminate the requirement that these pilots see an aviation medical examiner (AME) at regular intervals for mental and physical evaluation in order to show medical fitness to operate an aircraft.
?It may reduce some medical conditions that could disqualify a pilot from receiving a medical certificate and relies on the pilot to self-report when a disqualifying condition is identified. Even if a pilot develops and discloses a serious medical condition that creates risk in the national airspace, the amendment could prevent the FAA from ensuring that the pilot seek treatment.
This has been ALPA’s position since 2012 when ALPA submitted comments to the FAA in opposition to the AOPA/EAA petition for exemption (Docket No. FAA-2012-0350) from the third-class medical requirement.
ALPA has engaged with stakeholders to address concerns about medical evaluation processes for pilots who hold a third-class medical certificate and believes that a compromise position can be developed to ensure that added risk to the airspace we operate in is mitigated and the highest levels of safety are maintained. In fact, there are other provisions in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights that ALPA supports, and we intend to continue collaboration with our Hill and aviation partners.

Again, ALPA believes that a common-sense solution is within reach, but the amendment as written introduces a level of risk within the national airspace that we cannot support.
If you have any questions, please contact

Here is a response from Canoll:

Thanks for your note and sharing your opinion. Now for the rest of the story. ALPA’s responsibility is to advocate for our members in their capacity as professional airline pilots. In this instance we have been trying to work with AOPA to satisfy their concerns but they went ahead, without our knowledge, in an attempt to attach this amendment to the Highway Bill…yes, that’s right, the Highway bill. It is no secret that ALPA’s our long standing policy, as adopted numerous times by the BOD, is to maintain the highest level of safety within the National Air Space system. Self certification of medical qualification for pilots flying in the same airspace as airlines is a step backwards from maintaining the highest levels of safety. All ALPA members who are also GA pilots hold a Class 1 or 2 medical (as part of their jobs) and thus not effected by this issues EXCEPT for the fact it could have an adverse effect on the safety of the airspace in which we operate.</SPAN>
Contrary to many assertions, there have been airborne medical issues for GA pilots, just like commercial pilots, and moving to medical self certification will just make it worse.
Of course we are more then willing to continue to work with AOPA to find a solution to the their special issuance concerns and any other problem they would like to address. And there are other aspects of the pilots bill of rights that we support but the Highway bill is the wrong legislative venue for its advancement.
Tim Canoll

If you have strong feelings one way or the other, I suggest you contact ALPA and Capt. Canoll and tell them what you think.

I agree with AOPA, and think Canoll is quite misguided. :eek:

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Today I read a letter [...]

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Today I read a letter [...]

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