Trump Signs Order Allowing Recall of More Retired Air Force Pilots
U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will allow the Air Force to bring back to active duty as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address a pilot shortage.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, said the Air Force is currently short approximately 1,500 pilots.
"The pilot supply shortage is a national-level challenge that could have adverse effects on all aspects of both the government and commercial aviation sectors for years to come," Ross said.
Under current law, the Air Force is limited to recalling 25 pilots. Trump’s order, which amends a post-9/11 emergency declaration, removes that cap for the Air Force, as well as other branches of the military.
The Air Force has struggled for years to retain pilots, who can often get better paying jobs flying commercial airlines. It has already boosted pay and incentives to its pilots and has been working with airlines to come up with solutions to the shortage.
The Air Force has been at the forefront of the U.S. battle against the Islamic State, flying many of the sorties in Iraq and Syria.
Laptops Could Be Banned in Checked Luggage
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has filed a suggestion with the United Nations to stop allowing airline passengers to stow laptops in their checked baggage, saying it could cause a fire hazard.
The suggestion is to be considered by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations group, at a meeting later this month.
The FAA said laptops with lithium batteries, stored too close to aerosol cans, could ignite a fire in the cargo hold, where flames could reach unmanageable levels before being detected.
U.S. authorities earlier this year banned passengers from foreign airports from stowing their laptops in carry-on baggage, for fear that they might be used by terrorists. That requirement was later discontinued.
Experts say laptops are best kept in passenger cabins where any fire would be quickly detected.
At the Civil Aviation Organization's meeting, the group can endorse the FAA proposal, but it would still be up to regulators in individual nations to enforce the rule.