ALPA’s Plan to Keep America Flying Safely and Fairly

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Today, ALPA released a new white paper titled Keep America Flying: A Flight Plan for Safe and Fair Skies. It lays out reasoned and achievable policy solutions to enhance aviation safety and provide a strong and fair economic environment for U.S. airlines and their employees.

Safety and security topics detailed in the white paper include airline pilot supply, unmanned aircraft systems, NextGen, safe air transport of lithium batteries, secondary cockpit barriers, science-based fatigue rules for all-cargo pilots, and the Federal Flight Deck Officer program.

In addition, ALPA’s Keep America Flying flight plan underscores the need to ensure that U.S. airlines and U.S. airline workers have a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the global marketplace. Economic policy subjects discussed in the union’s white paper include flag-of-convenience and other atypical business practices, upholding the promise of Open Skies, and reforming the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
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Pilot Fatigue Rules in Canada Must Be Addressed

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By Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada Board President

As the largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization in the world, ALPA has long asserted that the best safety feature of any airplane is a well-trained, well-rested, highly motivated flight crew. For years, ALPA’s Canada Board has joined together with Canadian officials and aviation stakeholders in a tremendous effort to develop flight-and duty-time regulations and minimum-rest requirements for airline pilots that are based on sound science.

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Case (and DOT Comment Period) Closed: U.S. Gov’t Must Hold Consultations with UAE, Qatar

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Today’s closing of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) comment period showcases yet again the outpouring of concern about the U.S. government’s need to ensure a fair marketplace by entering into consultations with the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to get the facts on the subsidies they provide to Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways.

In May, ALPA pointed out in comments to the DOT that U.S. cities and communities of every size have a stake in making certain that U.S. airlines do business in a fair marketplace. This fundamental principle is something that the U.S. air services agreements require and that all who depend on U.S. air transportation should demand.

In the end, all that ALPA––along with the 262 members of Congress, many U.S. airlines, and airline passengers––asks is for countries that sign air services agreements with the United States also abide by them. It is up to the U.S. government to enter into consultations with the UAE and Qatar to put an end to market-distorting subsidies that place U.S. airline workers’ jobs at risk.

Committed to Safety and Security for 84 Years

On this day in 1931, 24 pilots joined together to form the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), a professional union dedicated to protecting the interests of airmen. This new pilot organization created a foundation of safety in the early days of commercial flight, and thanks to the first ALPA pilots who paved the way, flying is safer and more secure today. For 84 years, “Schedule with Safety” has remained ALPA’s mission, with airline safety and security being at the core of our operations.

Last week, more than 400 pilots and aviation safety and security experts convened in Washington, D.C., for ALPA’s 61st Air Safety Forum. The four-day event provided a unique opportunity to engage on key issues that affect the future of our industry. Panels of subject-matter experts led thoughtful and engaging discussions regarding longstanding and emerging issues in key areas related to safety. The Air Safety Forum concluded with a celebration of the dedicated pilots whose outstanding contributions continue to uphold the high standards shared by ALPA’s founding members.

Honoring the dedication and commitment ALPA pilots have demonstrated over the past year is the best part of being this union’s president. This year, six pilots received ALPA’s highest honors. Their leadership, spirit of engagement, and vast accomplishments to further advance the piloting profession were added to the list of pilots who over the decades have served as a testament to ALPA’s role as an advocate for safety and security.

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Call Up Every Asset to Secure Our Skies

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On July 16, I testified before members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Transportation Security about our union’s support for the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) as a key element in a multi-layered, risk-based approach to aviation security that also includes advancing the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program and installing secondary cockpit barriers on passenger airliners.

Throughout the FAMS history, ALPA members have been deeply impressed by the professionalism of the individual air marshals and the dedication of the program’s leaders. Every day, air marshals put their lives at risk to safeguard the passengers and crewmembers on their flights. For that, ALPA and its members are and will always be extremely grateful.

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ALPA Pilots Building Strong Communities

Despite the fact that our jobs require us to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home, ALPA pilots possess a strong spirit of community. Whether it’s in a global, local, corporate, or professional sense, ALPA pilots feel and stay connected. They give back and they give big.

In the “Our Stories” department, Air Line Pilot frequently offers examples of the many ways that pilots contribute to their global community, their workplace culture, and their local neighborhoods.

As a global citizen, one Jazz Aviation pilot works to raise funds for a youth home in the Republic of Uganda that gives boys who live on the streets a place to live and a brighter future. One United pilot ran the entire Superior Hiking Trail, which stretches 296 miles from Duluth, Minn. to the Canadian border, to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project.



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Gulf airline subsidies have no parallel in the United States

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In an opinion piece published on July 6 by the Huffington Post, I made clear that no one knows the pain of bankruptcy better than the professional men and women of the U.S. airline industry.

Now, the Gulf carriers are abusing that painful experience by trying to confuse it with a very serious issue that is of crucial importance to our industry.

I underscored that during bankruptcy, pain is unavoidable and it’s just a matter of navigating through a process where everyone gets hurt. The $42 billion worth of subsides to the Gulf carriers, though, is avoidable – there is a remedy. The U.S. government must seek consultations with the Qatar and UAE governments.