5/18/2010

The NTSB today opens a three-day conference to encourage greater professionalism among pilots and air traffic controllers. "How do you encourage people day in and day out to do the right thing every time when people aren't watching?" says NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman, explaining the rationale for the meeting. One item on the agenda: The widespread use of autopilot, which may lull cockpit crews into a sense of complacency. Unions insist there is no lack of professionalism among pilots or controllers, though they support the goals of the NTSB forum. "I think we're in agreement that it's a timely opportunity to sit down and have a good, hard revisit on the subject," says a top safety official at the Air Line Pilots Association.

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