Pilots worry national shortage puts passengers in danger
By Ken Miguel and Dan Noyes
January 7, 2019
CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Airlines around the world are scrambling to fill vacant pilot seats, but are they willing to sacrifice safety to do that? That's the debate raging right now in the airline industry.
This is already seriously impacting smaller airlines, and could reduce the number of flights to your destination. Some experts now worry, the shortage and proposed changes to how pilots are trained could affect your safety in the air. You don't have to look far back in time to find out why commercial pilots need to be trained extensively. In 2009, pilots aboard Continental Flight 3407 ignored federal safety recommendations, crashing a commuter plane into a Buffalo, New York home. All 49 people on board and one person on the ground were killed.
Investigators concluded the pilot made critical errors and had a "history of training failures." The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the crash by increasing the number of flight training hours required to become a commercial pilot.
But now some in the industry want those safety rules to be relaxed because of a pilot shortage.