In the airline business, there are two cost factors the airlines can never control: fuel and labor.
And as technology improves — and pilot salaries increase — there's been a controversial move lately by the industry to try to amend what's known as part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
That's the federal air regulation that requires air carriers to have two pilots in the cockpit at all times.
The airlines have been quietly lobbying that the single-pilot approach would quickly solve the staffing problem caused by the pilot shortage and that technology has vastly improved to allow for safe operation of a single-pilot flight.
Pilots unions argue it's all about the airlines saving money and could compromise safety.
And most recently, an incident about 10 days ago occurred on an American Eagle flight from Chicago to Columbus.
Had there not been a two-person crew in the cockpit, the story would have had a tragic ending. »