Pilots Union Details Concerns Over Safety

American Airlines union strikers | Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The pilots union for American Airlines sent an email to members on Saturday detailing various issues with safety procedures that the company uses to determine the safety of airplanes.

The Allied Pilots Association, which sent the email to members, detailed multiple “problematic trends” within American Airlines, highlighting less frequent safety inspections and “abbreviated” test flights for airplanes that recently had major maintenance or had been in storage for an extended amount of time, reported the New York Post.

“We all understand that aviation accidents are the result of a chain of events — often a series of errors — and catching just one of those errors could prevent a tragedy,” states the email, according to NYP.

A spokesperson for American Airlines said that the company is in regular contact with the union “to further bolster our strong safety record and enhance our ever-evolving safety culture,” per The Associated Press.

Dennis Tajer, a pilot and spokesperson for the union, confirmed the discussions with American Airlines management and said the “initial response to our request was encouraging,” adding that he and the union “fully intend to do everything we can to assure that American maintains strong margins of safety,” as reported by KERA News.

The union also said American Airlines should not be rushed with upcoming decisions and should not be “pressured into doing something that doesn’t pass the ‘smell test’” regarding aircraft safety, reported CBS News. “Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it safe.”

The concerns presented by the union come as multiple incidents before and during flights have raised concerns about air travel safety in recent months.

These incidents include an emergency landing in Denver after an engine cover ripped off in the air and an airplane overshooting the runway in Dallas due to an “anomaly” with the plane’s brake system.

Investigations into aircraft safety are also on the rise. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) opened a record number of investigations into incidents involving Boeing airplanes in 2023, as previously reported by The Dallas Express. Between 2000 and 2016, the NTSB opened a yearly average of 78.3 investigations into incidents involving Boeing airplanes, but the number of investigations skyrocketed to 139 in 2023 and is on pace to be even higher this year.

While the increased number of investigations may prompt concerns about air travel safety, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg maintains, “American aviation is the safest means of travel in the world.”

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