Release #14.JBU
April 29, 2014

JetBlue Pilots Elect First Leaders Under ALPA Representation

Washington—The ten interim local representatives at JetBlue Airways, which is represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), elected new Master Executive Council (MEC) officers to spearhead the union’s efforts.

The representatives elected Capt. Jim Bigham as chairman, Capt. Gustavo Rivera as vice chairman, and First Officer Wes Clapper as secretary-treasurer. The officers’ terms will begin immediately.

“The JetBlue pilots made it clear that they want to be represented by a strong international union with professional resources and expertise as well as the support of 31 other pilot groups to help us achieve our first contract,” said Bigham. "The MEC understands the great responsibility we have for our future. We will maintain a standard of excellence and professionalism as we partner with company leadership for our mutual success."

The following is a brief bio on each of the MEC officers:

Capt. Jim Bigham, Chairman
Capt. Bigham has been with JetBlue since 2003. He’s currently based in JFK, flying the Airbus 320. Bigham was one of the founding members and is chairman of the Blue Pilot Fund, a mutual-aid program for JetBlue pilots and their families. Prior to JetBlue, Bigham spent more than 20 years in the United States Air Force as an F-16 fighter pilot. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1982 and lives in Columbia, S.C., with his wife and has two daughters.

Capt. Gustavo Rivera, Vice Chairman
Capt. Rivera has flown the Airbus 320 for JetBlue since 2003. Prior to JetBlue, Rivera worked at United for three years and at Vanguard Airlines for six years. He is currently based in Fort Lauderdale and has two daughters.

First Officer Wes Clapper, Secretary-Treasurer
First Officer Clapper began working at JetBlue in 2010 and flies the Airbus 320 out of JFK. Prior to JetBlue, he spent four years at ExpressJet. He graduated from Central Washington University and lives in Spokane with his wife and newborn daughter.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 32 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703/481-4440 or

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