Colgan Air pilots will begin their first contract talks with carrier management on 23 September.

Pilots do not currently have a collective bargaining agreement as they only voted in favour of Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) representation last December after rejecting a bid to unionise in August 2007. Pinnacle Airlines Corp acquired Colganin January 2007.

The start of negotiationsfollowsa fatal Colgan Bombardier Q400 crash this February. US legislators later held hearings in resposne to concerns raised by the crash that scrutinised regional pilot play, fatigue and commuting habits-issues likely to be raised during labour talks.

"The recent scrutiny of our industry and our airline has highlighted a number of issues, such as pilot compensation, pilot scheduling, and the application of our sick leave policy, that are major concerns for our pilots," Colgan master executive council (MEC) chairman Mark Segaloff says in a statement. "During this entire period, our management's response has been to 'get it at the negotiating table.' So, we are calling on our management to come to the table and start addressing these issues in a meaningful dialogue with us."

ALPA expects Colgan negotiations to take about a year to resolve with labour talks likely occurring once a month, a union spokeswoman says.

Colgan was not immediate available for comment.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news