Release #11.34
November 9, 2011

Airline Pilots Engaged in Reducing Carbon Emissions as Biofuel Flights Take Off

WASHINGTON – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), commends two U.S. airlines that have begun operating flights using alternative biofuels that reduce fossil fuel consumption, increase efficiency, and cut greenhouse gas emissions, while maintaining the highest safety standards. The Alaska Airlines flight today and the United Airlines flight earlier this week are the latest examples of the U.S. airline industry’s environmental commitment.

“Pilots applaud the initiative taken by these airlines to explore the use of biofuels,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president. “This effort complements ALPA’s long-standing commitment to working with the industry to pursue technologies that make air transportation more efficient, cut greenhouse gas emissions, alleviate dependence on fossil fuels, and reduce the adverse effects of rampant energy speculation.”

For years, ALPA has promoted funding the research and development of alternative fuels that are renewable, pollute less or not at all, and are more affordable than today’s fuels, as part of an overall plan to advance the airline industry’s environmental and economic sustainability. The plan includes:

Creating a national energy policy
Modernizing the national air transportation infrastructure
Implementing NextGen to update the U.S. air transportation system
Improving fuel efficiency and developing alternatives to fossil fuels
Developing operational procedures that increase efficiency while maintaining the highest possible safety standards
Ensuring a fair, transparent, and balanced energy commodities market

Through its work on the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuel Initiative (CAAFI), ALPA has engaged with the airlines, the aircraft manufacturers, and the scientific community in a collaborative effort to find and develop new and better sources of fuel for aviation.

“ALPA pilots have long worked with the airlines and the regulators to protect the environment, promote economic growth, and maintain the highest possible safety standards for the airline industry,” concluded Capt. Moak. “We are extremely encouraged by these airlines’ commitment to the power of biofuel technology, and we urge other airlines to follow their lead toward a more sustainable future for our industry.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or