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Letter: High safety standards aren’t creating a pilot shortage

High safety standards aren’t creating a pilot shortage

The March 10 editorial, “Transportation secretary’s remark threatens hard-won safety rules,” argued that my “words should not be allowed to dismantle” pilot qualification requirements. I strongly agree.

As secretary of transportation, I am charged with keeping the traveling public safe, and these requirements help us do exactly that. They ensure pilots are both well-rested and have the proper training and qualifications to fly aircraft.

Of course, we do not promulgate rules to create workforce shortages; we put certain rules in place to increase safety. While I acknowledge that some view our pilot training and qualifications rules as the sole or even the principal reason for pilot shortages, I do not.

I could have and should have made this point more clearly. We believe that low wages and the scarcity of certain types of planes are likely the most significant causes, not high safety standards.

These requirements save lives. And as the families of Flight 3407 know, there is no price too high for that.

Anthony Foxx

Secretary of Transportation Washington