Release #12.17
April 17, 2012

ALPA Calls for “Closing the Gaps” in Air Cargo Safety and Security
Washington, D.C., Conference Explores Solutions

WASHINGTON – A disparity currently exists in the level of aviation safety and security standards between passenger and cargo airline operations, and action is needed to close the gap. At a conference held today in Washington, D.C., the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), brought the airline industry together to develop solutions to achieve one level of safety and security for all airline operations, regardless of whether the pilots are flying passengers or cargo.

“When you consider that all-cargo flights fly in the same airspace and land at and take off from the same airports as flights that carry passengers, it’s inexcusable that these operations aren’t required to meet the same high safety and security standards,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president. “We know what we need to do in our industry to bring all-cargo operations up to the same level of safety and security as passenger flights.”

During the conference, ALPA’s leaders strongly commended Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) for introducing the Safe Skies Act of 2012 (H.R. 4350). If passed, the legislation would direct the Department of Transportation to apply the Federal Aviation Administration’s flight- and duty-time regulations and minimum rest requirements to all-cargo operations in the same way that the science-based regulations currently apply to passenger operations.

ALPA’s Air Cargo Safety & Security: Closing the Gaps conference, which attracted more than 100 attendees, included speakers representing Congress, regulators, airlines, labor, and industry organizations. The dynamic agenda featured discussions of the most pressing topics in all-cargo operations, including ensuring the safe transport of lithium battery shipments, exploring how bilateral agreements affect all-cargo airlines, fighting all-cargo aircraft fires, and achieving the highest security standards for all-cargo flights.

“The introduction of the Safe Skies Act of 2012 and the commitment today from across government and industry to enhance all-cargo safety and security are extremely promising,” said Capt. Bill Soer, chairman of ALPA’s President’s Committee for Cargo. “ALPA will be right there every step of the way to make certain that our industry does what it takes to ensure that all-cargo pilots and their operations benefit from the very highest standards of safety and security.”

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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