Leighton works with FAA pilot fatigue issues

15 years ago

     Limestone native Russ Leighton, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 director of safety, was recently selected to represent the union on the Aviation Rule-Making Committee because of his extensive education and notable experience with airline safety issues. 

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    Limestone native Russ Leighton, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224 director of safety was recently selected to represent the union on the Aviation Rule-Making Committee. He was selected for his extensive education and notable experience with airline safety issues.

   Leighton formerly served as an aircraft accident investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) where he investigated more than 50 accidents.  More recently, Leighton has worked closely with the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA) to develop a comprehensive safety strategy for the industry, addressing Fatigue Management Systems and future certification and training requirements which have the potential to reverse the erosion of the aviation profession and industry safety.  
    “It is my goal to assure that any safety and fatigue improvements produced by the ARC are applied universally to regional, supplemental and scheduled carriers,” stated Leighton, “I believe that an elevated level of safety can and should be instituted as the industry standard through the FAA.
    The FAA established the ARC to address pilot fatigue issues in the wake of the Continental Express, also know as the Colgan Air, crash near Buffalo last February. The committee will serve in an advisory capacity for FAA rulemaking.  They have been charged with reviewing policy and developing recommendations for implementation of new flight time and rest rules.  They will meet twice a week during a six-week with the goal of having a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the FAA by Sept. 1, 2009. Their recommendations will be based on fatigue science, public comments and a review of other nations approaches to the issue.  
    The ARC is an 18-member committee which will consists of aviation industry representatives, as well as government and public entity representatives. The committee is co-chaired by representatives from the Airline Transportation Association (ATA) and the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA).  Additional aviation representatives include the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the Coalition of Airline Pilots Association (CAPA), Air Transport Association (ATA), Cargo Airline Association (CAA), National Air Carrier Association (NACA) and the Regional Airline Association (RAA).