Release #12.49
November 29, 2012

ALPA Welcomes French Court Decision on Concorde Accident
Criminalization of Professional Human Error Fails to Advance Safety

WASHINGTON – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement regarding the French court decision today to overturn previous convictions against Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics in relation to the Air France Concorde accident in 2000.

“ALPA welcomes the French court’s decision today. It recognizes that the only way our industry can do everything possible to prevent such a tragedy from happening again is not through criminalization of professional human error, but by strongly encouraging the exchange of safety information essential to detecting hazards before accidents occur.

“Threatening criminal prosecution of airline industry professionals who only seek to perform their jobs while maintaining the highest levels of safety will discourage the data sharing that forms the foundation of a proactive safety culture designed to address safety risks before they lead to incidents or accidents.

“ALPA mourns the loss of our colleagues and all who perished in the accident. Our industry must ensure that their legacy is one of enhanced safety for all who depend on air transportation. Our success in that effort depends on a safety culture focused not on assigning blame but on preventing accidents.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing nearly 51,000 pilots at 35 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or