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NATCA "LAHSO" Position - (2/10/1999)

The following statement from NATCA President Michael McNally represents the position taken by the organization's National Executive Board:

"The Air Line Pilots Association has taken a position that "Land and Hold Short" operations (LAHSO) procedures used today at most major city airports are unsafe. ALPA has determined that LAHSO procedures used at these airports are antiquated and are no longer applicable with today's modern aircraft.

"ALPA has addressed these concerns with recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The National Air Traffic Controllers Association maintains that safety always comes first, in that no pilot should ever operate their aircraft or place passengers in an unsafe situation. NATCA's opinion is that the issues raised by ALPA must be carefully reviewed.

"NATCA's position on the draft recommendations developed by ALPA is both supportive and cautionary. LAHSO procedures that lack sufficient evidence of being absolutely safe under all conditions is a valid issue and require careful review by the FAA. The concept of air traffic controllers assuming separation responsibility for a rejected landing due to a lack of aircraft performance capability is unacceptable and unachievable, since air traffic controllers are neither pilots nor aircraft performance experts.

"Several recommendations, if enacted as offered, will cause significant impact to an already overloaded air traffic system, place an undue disadvantage on other segments of the aviation community, and will attempt to shift full responsibility for unplanned events on the air traffic controllers. Any attempt to shift responsibility from the pilot who knows the performance characteristics of the aircraft to the air traffic controller is ludicrous and is unconditionally rejected by NATCA, and will assuredly result in reduced capacity at these airports requiring expanded flow control restrictions."

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