American Airlines pilots are pushing back the Biden administration’s vaccination mandate, demanding exemptions and warning that the vaccination mandate will cause travel disruption.
American Airlines pilots fight vaccination mandate
In a letter to lawmakers, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing American Airlines pilots, opposes the new vaccine mandate, arguing:
To ensure the continued viability of commercial aviation by avoiding a scenario in which airlines would be forced to either offer unpaid leave or, worse, implement mass layoffs of unvaccinated pilots, it is essential that another means of complying with the decree is made available to professional pilots.
We therefore urge regulators and policymakers to recognize the specialized role pilots play in the commercial aviation industry and to allow another way to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19, such as regular testing or testing. proof of natural immunity, while allowing unvaccinated pilots. steal.
Biden’s Executive Order has an alternative testing protocol, but no such testing option is offered to federal contractors. Due to the unique relationship between US airlines and the US federal government, it is not (yet) clear whether the airlines will be considered federal contractors. This implies whether a test option will be available.
In presenting their case, the APA cites a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule that states that “holders of an FAA medical certificate may not act as a pilot-in-command, or in any other capacity. as a required flight crew member, for 48 hours after each dose. “He concludes:
Some APA members are unable to get vaccinated for documented medical reasons, while others are reluctant to get vaccinated due to concerns about the potential for career-ending side effects.
Meanwhile, at United Airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) union has partnered with United’s mandatory vaccination policy. The pilots were even one step ahead of other task forces with a generous bonus offer offered to those who were vaccinated early.
The APA is fighting the vaccine’s mandate on behalf of its pilots, arguing that alternative means of protection should be offered. The APA’s action is in starting juxtaposition to that of ALPA, which accepted United’s vaccine mandate without any vocal protest, at least which has been made public. At this point, it is not clear what percentage of American Airlines pilots have actually been vaccinated.