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FAA Panel Recommends Changing Terms ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manmade’ to ‘Gender-Neutral’ Equivalents

Pilots in the cockpit of an Airbus A320-214 of Edelweiss Air at Zurich airport in Switzerland in 2019. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters)

A Federal Aviation Administration committee recommended changing terms such as “cockpit” and “manmade” to gender-neutral equivalents, in a report released on Wednesday.

The FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee made the recommendations as part of an effort to “create a more inclusive environment,” according to the report.

The authors recommended changing “cockpit” to “flight deck,” because “on occasion masculine crew members have wielded the term ‘cockpit’ to exclude or undermine femme coworkers.” Other terms such as “manmade” and “repairman” could be changed to “manufactured,” or “technician,” the report said.

“Gender-neutral language is one of the ways to create an inclusive and diverse organization and culture,” the report states. The authors add that “avoiding imprecise and exclusionary language can create a work environment where all workers feel safe sharing their views, thereby improving psychological and operational safety.”

The Drone Advisory Committee was ordered to develop the report in February of this year. The committee includes various representatives from government agencies and drone manufacturers and operators. Those operators include Wing, Alphabet’s drone delivery service, and Amazon Prime Air.

It is unclear whether the FAA will adopt the recommendations for gender-neutral language to be used in the drone industry.

The FAA granted delivery company UPS certification to deliver packages to homes by drone in 2019, and major companies including Walmart have also invested in drone delivery. The United States is also continuing to develop drone systems for military purposes, for example to intercept ballistic missiles.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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