A Message from ALPA President Capt. Lee Moak: Celebrating 80 Years of Airline Pilot Advocacy

July 27, 2011 - Today we mark the 80th anniversary of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. What began with 13 pilots secretly meeting in a Chicago hotel has evolved into a globally recognized aviation safety advocate and the world’s largest pilot union. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of our 53,000 members in both Canada and the United States, because it’s your commitment and support that ensures ALPA’s ongoing reputation as the voice of airline pilots in North America.

Reaching a milestone like 80 years compels us to look back at the many obstacles we’ve had to overcome, and the generations of ALPA pilots who’ve dedicated their lives to promoting our profession. During the turbulent, early years of aviation, some lost their jobs while others made the ultimate sacrifice. Some negotiated industry-leading contracts while others, working together with their industry peers, contributed to ground-breaking systems and important new efficiencies.

That’s quite a legacy, but it’s also a reminder of the immense responsibility we have to ensure that the work they began continues. We can never be content with the work we’ve accomplished. Air transportation is constantly evolving and so must we.

On this special anniversary, take a moment to remember that the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, has achieved all that it has because pilots from diverse airlines, seniority levels, and backgrounds managed to set aside differences and work together as one. And as one, we will continue to make great things happen. Happy birthday, ALPA!