August 5, 2009
Capt. Dennis Dolan Receives ALPA’s
Atlanta Pilot Recognized for Exemplary Leadership in Enhancing Aviation Security
WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize retired Delta Air Lines Capt. Dennis Dolan with its 2008 Presidential Citation for his extraordinary efforts to advance aviation security. The award will be presented today during ALPA’s Air Safety Week in Washington, D.C.
“Capt. Dolan is a rare leader who took up the enormous challenge to better secure air transportation in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “He has played a role in virtually every advancement our industry has made in aviation security since 2001.”
Capt. Dolan began his career with ALPA in 1976. During more than two decades of dedication to his union and aviation security, Capt. Dolan has been recognized for a broad range of accomplishments, but he may be most noted as one of ALPA’s first responders and preeminent strategists in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Immediately following 9/11, Capt. Dolan helped establish a 24-hour command center to provide ALPA members with the latest information on new security policies and operational procedures. The center handled more than 500 calls during its first week of operation and served as a critical resource for pilots during the weeks and months that followed.
In response to the attacks, the Association’s leaders also created ALPA’s Security Task Force. Capt. Dolan was charged with directing the Task Force’s work to identify vulnerabilities on the nation’s airliners and in the air transportation system and to develop the solutions needed to better secure passengers, crews, and cargo.
As part of his role in forming the Association’s strategic response to enhance aviation security, Capt. Dolan helped establish the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, which deputizes and arms fully trained pilots to defend the cockpit. Capt. Dolan also helped to shape the Association’s approach to the threat from shoulder-fired missiles, advocating through a landmark white paper a measured policy based on the actual, rather than perceived, threat posed by MANPADS. Moreover, Capt. Dolan pressed federal regulatory agencies and Congress to take decisive action to strengthen cockpit doors and to greatly bolster the Federal Air Marshal program.
In addition, Capt. Dolan worked to create a Common Strategy for cockpit and cabin crews to respond to terrorist attacks. The Common Strategy he helped to develop continues to serve as a model for similar doctrines that the Canadian government and other governments have adopted around the world.
A staunch trade unionist, Capt. Dolan also worked to strengthen ALPA’s National Security Committee. His vision for the committee and efforts to redesign its structure to focus resources on the needs of pilots operating in the post-9/11 environment have helped position the union to remain on the cutting edge of aviation security for decades to come.
“Every airline passenger and cargo shipper today benefits from Capt. Dolan’s leadership and innovation in enhancing the security of air transportation in this country,” concluded Capt. Prater. “Dolan’s unwavering commitment and tireless dedication serve as a model for all those who are involved in aviation security.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.
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