Release #12.06
February 8, 2012

GPS Vital to Aviation Safety
System Critical to Air Transportation Modernization

WASHINGTON – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), today underscored in testimony at a Congressional hearing the vital role that the global positioning system (GPS) plays in the U.S. air transportation infrastructure and its value as an unmatched navigational tool that allows the U.S. airline industry to enhance safety, increase efficiency, and cut greenhouse gas emissions, while reducing flight delays and cancellations.

“Given the vital importance of the global positioning system as a key component of this country’s transportation infrastructure, it is appropriate and, indeed, essential for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and this Aviation Subcommittee to be fully engaged in protecting the system,” said Capt. Sean Cassidy, ALPA’s first vice-president, in testimony today before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee.

ALPA has long maintained the critical importance of the highly accurate flight operations that GPS makes possible. In June 2011, ALPA’s president, Capt. Lee Moak, wrote a letter to the U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee stressing the point that GPS technology is critical to aviation. Rigorous industry and government analysis and research utilizing GPS technology has led to the development of navigational and operational procedures that have significantly increased the safety margin in airline operations.

“Today, GPS is a critical component of a safe and efficient air transportation system that helps drive the U.S. economy and secure tens of thousands of jobs,” said Capt. Moak following the hearing. “GPS has become a cornerstone of our efforts to modernize the U.S. air traffic control system and to securing the safety enhancements and efficiency gains that will help the U.S. airline effectively challenge international competition in the global air transportation arena.”

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


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