ALPA Delivers the Truth Behind the Alleged “Pilot Shortage”

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ALPA’s got the pulse on the airline pilot pipeline, tracking down the numbers to rise above the noise and set the record straight on the so-called “pilot shortage.” Here’s the issue: There is no airline pilot shortage; it’s all about the money. “Pilot shortage” makes for a flashy headline, but we’ve done our homework and packaged all the facts in this new no-frills, real numbers whiteboard video that clearly identifies the issue beneath the surface: what the airline industry faces today is a pilot pay shortage.
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On This Anniversary of September 11

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This morning I stood before an overflow crowd of pilots and staff assembled in ALPA’s 9/11 Memorial Garden in Herndon, Va., to remember those lost to the terrorist attacks 13 years ago.

During this gathering we honored the memory of the passengers and crew of United Flight 175, United Flight 93, American Airlines Flight 11, and American Airlines Flight 77. In honor of their memories, we reiterate the spirit of resilience that continues to this day.

As pilots, when we returned to the cockpit after the attack, we resolved to carry forward the legacy of their sacrifice. Today, with the renewed awareness of vigilance, we pledge to be the guardians of their spirit and protect the memories of our lost friends and colleagues. We also pledge to be the guardians of our profession. And we pledge to be the guardians of safe and secure skies.

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‘An Important Stand for Fair Competition’: DOT Dismisses NAI Exemption Request

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Today the U.S. Department of Transportation sided with the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and dozens of other organizations—not to mention members of Congress on both sides of the aisle—in dismissing Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) request for temporary authorization to fly to and from the United States. This decision marks significant progress in the drive to help ensure a level playing field for U.S. airlines.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation took an important stand for fair competition today by denying Norwegian Air International’s request for temporary authorization to fly to and from the United States,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.

While an important decision, more work remains for ALPA and its broad coalition of partners in this fight. This decision covers only NAI’s request for an exemption to conduct business while its application for a foreign air carrier permit is processed; DOT still must reject that application and avoid establishing a precedent that could decimate the domestic airline industry.

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NAI Can’t Fly Above the Law

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The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, in collaboration with the Transportation Trades Department and the European Cockpit Association, jointly filed comments with the U.S. Department of Transportation today, again urging the DOT to deny Norwegian Air International’s request to fly to and from the United States on the basis that it violates the principles of  the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.

In the filing, ALPA points to comments made by a European Commission official, who acknowledges for the first time that a violation of Article 17 bis of the agreement can constitute a sufficient reason to reject a request for a foreign air carrier permit application or an exemption—both items NAI hopes to obtain from the U.S. DOT.

“ALPA could not agree more strongly with the European Commission director’s acknowledgment for the first time that violation of the labor provision can serve as a sufficient reason to deny foreign air carrier applications or operation authorizations,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA president.

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ALPA Pilots Prove Once Again That the Price of Greatness is Responsibility

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Year after year, ALPA brings together pilots and stakeholders from all around the world to celebrate the notable contributions pilots have made to our industry. Since the first Air Safety Forum in 1953, the Air Line Pilots Association, International has celebrated the giants of its union. Commercial aviation continues to be the safest and most secure mode of transportation, and ALPA plays a key role due to the hundreds of safety, security, and pilot assistant representatives who currently serve the Air Safety Organization in both the United States and Canada.

The celebration peaks with one of the most important parts of our Air Safety Forum: the Awards Banquet. We proudly honor another year of great accomplishments; another year of ALPA Air Safety, Aviation Security, and Pilot Assistance award winners; and another year celebrating the giants who came before us and those who continue their work today. Learn more about those giants with this special video highlighting previous Air Safety Forum honorees:

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Only as Good as What We Know

The Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy in Ukraine continues to fuel our industry’s absolute resolve to do everything possible to prevent anything like it from ever happening again. The airspace restrictions that resulted also reveal our intelligence community’s opportunities to better communicate the vital information necessary to ensure safe and secure flight operations around the globe.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have an enormously dedicated and expert professional staff that works around the clock to ensure the safety of U.S. air transportation. It is also true that the U.S. government has a tremendous intelligence network and the capacity for powerful information analysis. But, with the communication and coordination process in its current form, is the U.S. airline industry­­—and are airline pilots—able to make the most of both assets?

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Celebrating Line Pilots Who Make a Difference

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Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, opened the 60th Air Safety Forum on August 6, highlighting ALPA line pilots who play—or have played in ALPA’s history—a critical role in aviation safety and security advancements and achievements.

“By attending this forum, you’re showing the same initiative, but I want to challenge you to take it further,” Moak said to the audience of more than 300 ALPA pilot representatives and other industry stakeholders. “As you’re attending the events this week, think about what you can take back to your airline to make things better. Think about what needs that you’ve seen that you can fix. Think about what skills you have that you can offer. And think about what improvements you believe you can help achieve.”

For example, scores of line pilots have stepped up to tackle much-needed reform for the carriage of lithium batteries, extending newly implemented pilot fatigue rules for all pilots, and the ongoing mission to deny Norwegian Air International its application for an air carrier permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Those issues, among the vast safety and security efforts made by ALPA pilot volunteers, take consistent effort, dogged persistence, and partnerships within the industry to develop even stronger unified messages.
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