Patriotic spirit is soaring this week as both the United States and Canada celebrate their independence. From these nations’ earliest days, their people could plainly see the historic change made possible only by working together toward a greater good.
ALPA has a vested interest in growing competitive airlines that attract the best and brightest pilots. We firmly believe we should do everything within our power to remain the best in the world, because that is a ranking we can’t afford to lose. Unfortunately, there are challenges in our industry that threaten the future of our profession.
Despite there being thousands of qualified pilots available to fly for U.S. airlines, compensation, benefits, quality of life and career progression opportunities at some airlines are inadequate to attract pilots to their ranks. These airlines often blame this on a so-called “pilot shortage.” However, ALPA has long maintained that the airlines struggling to find pilots are those that don’t offer competitive wages, benefits, reasonable working conditions, and a solid career path. We recently released a video emphasizing our position.
This past weekend, we honored our fathers and many of us enjoyed time together with our sons and daughters.
The love of aviation and the desire to become a pilot is often handed down through generations. Many ALPA members tell of their family’s ancestral ties with flying––serving as military aviators or flying the line as airline pilots. Family trees with deep roots in the skies.
Rarer are the fathers and sons or fathers and daughters who actually have the opportunity to fly together. Here’s one remarkable story.
By Capt. Dan Adamus, ALPA Canada Board President
For years, ALPA has been on the front lines to increase public awareness of the serious safety hazard posed by laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. In the United States, ALPA partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and was instrumental in successfully lobbying Congress to create a specific law that makes it a federal crime to aim a laser device at an aircraft. In 2014, the FBI broadened an educational campaign to 12 major U.S. airports to inform the public on the dangers of pointing a laser at an aircraft in flight.
Last year, ALPA and key industry players signed a joint letter encouraging the Canadian government to strengthen existing criminal provisions for interfering with aircraft, ban more powerful lasers and increase public awareness concerning the safety implications of targeting aircraft with lasers.
In our continued efforts to mitigate laser strikes in Canada and improve pilot and passenger safety, ALPA recently hosted a meeting with Transport Canada (the Canadian agency responsible for transportation policies and programs), the FAA, and the FBI to discuss implementing an awareness campaign similar to those in place in the United States.
The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l welcomes the Environmental Protection Agency’s commitment to working through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) process to develop a carbon dioxide certification standard for new aircraft. The agency’s efforts at ICAO are another key element to build on the tremendous work that the U.S. airline industry and airline pilots are already doing to reduce aviation emissions and safely increase the efficiency of flight operations.
In fact, U.S. airlines and aircraft operators have improved their fuel efficiency more than 120 percent since 1978. This success is the result of the U.S. airlines’ purchasing cleaner, more fuel-efficient aircraft. In addition, ALPA and its pilots have for years worked together with airline managements and regulators to safely enhance the efficiency of flight operations. Through operations such as single-engine taxi, modernized departure and arrival procedures, flying at optimal altitude to limit fuel burn based on aircraft weight, winds, and atmospheric conditions, and using continuous descent arrival and optimized descent procedures, airline pilots are working every day and on every flight to safely enhance efficiency and reduce fuel burn.
Our members were extremely pleased when the National Mediation Board (NMB) announced this week that the pilots at Virgin America had voted overwhelmingly in favor of ALPA representation. Of the 95.7 percent of eligible pilots who voted, 75.3 percent voted in favor of joining, showing their clear commitment to collective representation.