THE WORK records of commercial pilots would be open to inspection under proposed US legislation designed to keep sub-standard pilots out of the cockpit.

The new rules would permit the transfer of relevant pilot employment and training records between airlines. When a transfer of information is requested and complied with, both the current or past employer and the prospective employer would be immune from lawsuits related to the information exchange.

At the moment, the US Federal Aviation Administration requires airlines to determine whether an applicant has a pilot licence, and to verify an applicant's employment for the five previous years. The applicant's driving record is also checked for evidence of alcohol- or drug-related suspensions.

Airlines are not required to confirm flying experience or past performance. The FAA urges full disclosure of pilot records, but it says a number of valid concerns need to be aired before action is taken regarding transfer of pilot records.

The US National Transportation Safety Board has called for a national database for flight-deck crews. It says that the FAA should require all US scheduled airlines and flight-training operations to maintain and provide the FAA with pilot performance and training records. Airlines would check the database to weed out bad pilots.

The aviation agency says that US carriers should bear the database responsibility instead.

Source: Flight International