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US FAA contemplating stricter guidelines for high-volume constitution flight operators By Reuters

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated on Thursday it’s contemplating subjecting high-volume constitution flight operators to stricter laws imposed on passenger airways.

Airline unions have opposed the enlargement of constitution operations. Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA President Sara Nelson praised the FAA motion, calling the constitution laws a “loophole that undermines security and safety guidelines for business aviation.”

Constitution flights, which might have a most of 30 seats, will not be topic to the identical coaching for first officers, obligatory retirement of pilots at age 65 or minimal relaxation intervals for airline pilots. Passengers on these flights additionally needn’t be screened by the Transportation Safety Administration.

The variety of constitution flights has grown dramatically over the past decade.

The FAA stated on Thursday “this fast progress poses an elevated threat to security if left unchecked” and stated it can “start a rulemaking to deal with this security threat.”

Utah-based regional service SkyWest (NASDAQ:) Airways operates regional flights for United Airways, Delta Air Strains (NYSE:), American Airways (NASDAQ:) and Alaska Airways and needs approval to function a separate constitution service known as SkyWest Constitution.

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The Transportation Division has not but acted on the request.

SkyWest Constitution stated it believes the constitution designation “is important for small group air service, right this moment and properly into the longer term.” The air service added it “already exceeds present security necessities.” SkyWest Inc shares fell 2.4% Thursday to $40.28.

Aviation unions and American Airways have criticized rising constitution operations by air service JSX. American stated in Could that JSX had a “aggressive benefit” by working below much less stringent regulatory guidelines.

JSX had 110,000 departures since 2016 with its 37 plane, the corporate stated, whereas unions stated that’s greater than some small regional passenger airways, unions argued.

JSX stated on Thursday the FAA discover “is disappointing, each for the touring public and for the development of important air mobility packages across the nation … JSX complies with all relevant guidelines and laws and much exceeds the security necessities germane to our public constitution operations.”

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Dallas-based JSX counts each United Airways and

JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:) as traders.

Former Home Transportation Committee chair Peter DeFazio, a Democrat, praised the FAA for planning “to rein in JSX and others who’re flying scheduled ‘charters’ to keep away from pilot coaching necessities, correct relaxation and obligation time (and) no retirement age.”

Individually, a invoice to increase the FAA’s authorization for one more 4 years has stalled in Congress over a debate about whether or not to revise pilot coaching necessities.

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