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Fuel for Thought


Speed Limiters and the ABA

By Greg Huggins
Posted Sep 26th 2016 6:28AM

Just announced..

The ABA ( American Bird Association) has lobbied for speed limiters on commercial aircraft.

The new proposed rule will consider the effects on the airline industry.

The ABA cites environmental and safety issues are the main concerns. The ABA claims that commercial airlines routinely accelerate too fast and maintain top speeds that are in direct conflict with EPA standards for fuel consumption and GHG (Greenhouse Gas Standards). The organization also claims that limiting the speeds will save lives. The ABA claims that it has proof that lower speeds are beneficial, as they have been flying at lower speeds for decades. The ABA failed to mention that their members are hazards in the sky, causing some commercial airline flights to take evasive measures to avoid the slower traveling birds. The birds argue that if the airlines would just lower their speeds to match that of the birds, this would alleviate such interactions in the future. However, birds and planes are not the only obstacles in the sky. The airline pilots cite facts such as, wind speed, rain, storms, hurricanes, lightning and fog and snow as for determining speed and cruising altitude, and limiting the speed would have detrimental effects on the airline industry.

According to pilots, it seems the ABA has also overlooked some very important information. The pilots contend that they must accelerate quickly in order to leave the ground and as far as cruising speed and altitude, well, as one pilot put it ” We cannot safely travel at lesser speeds and remain in the air, and altitude should be determined by other mitigating factors such as weather conditions, other air traffic and terrain. “

A representative from the ABA responded “ We birds feel it is unfair that commercial airlines should be able to reach their destinations before us. It creates an unfair advantage in the skies. Their use of higher speeds and faster travel times have bankrupted many carrier pigeons. We cannot earn a decent birdseed at this rate. We are willing to add to our flock to make up for any shortfall that may result from the slowing down of commercial airlines.”

Pilots responded to this claim from the ABA. “ Although we do have the ability to fly even faster than we currently travel, we choose to travel at speeds and altitudes that match conditions. We safely travel the skies and choose appropriate speeds and altitudes. The birds routinely ignore No Fly Zones and endanger the general public by not reducing their flight speed in congested areas or around windmills or even around commercial aircraft. The ABA represents a large group of birds that wish to enforce their Company requirements on the rest of the aviation industry. In the skies, like on the highways, there is not a “One size fits all” solution to make travel safer. And bringing us all down to your (the American Bird Association) level, will not help either.”


The pilots also cited “If the ABA would do a better job of training their members, not just kick them out of the nest, there would be fewer incidents and this type of regulation would not even need to be considered. The best speed limiter is a well trained operator.”

More details to come as the story continues to unfold. 

Yes it is satire. Yes, truck speed limiters are a serious concern to those of us in this industry and should be for the general motoring public as well. But apply the same “logic” to another also regulated industry and it brings out the absurdity of the whole premise behind the proposed rule.

Make your voice heard and visit to submit your comments.

See you down the road.....eventually,



  • TeamHutch - October 1, 2016
    Lol had me laughing the entire read. Great point though.
  • Greg - October 1, 2016
    Thank you Team Hutch. I hope that putting a different perspective on it will get more drivers to leave a comment where it counts, not just complain on social media.

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