We pursue these interests with special attention to international standards and recommended practices, U.S. and Canadian federal policies, and any inappropriate or unethical actions that seek to evade the intent of safety and labor laws and regulations in North America and around the world.
Decisionmakers in the United States and Canada must put safety first and balance the desire for rushed progress and profitability with safeguarding airline passengers, cabin crews, and air cargo shippers.
Our Top Priorities
Pilot Retirement Age and Supply
Some U.S. airlines are pushing the false “pilot shortage” narrative along with reckless solutions—such as dialing back pilot qualification requirements and seeking to raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots above age 65.
COVID-19 Recovery and Pandemic Preparedness
Pilots are essential employees performing critical work as the pandemic continues to take a massive toll on the aviation industry. While some legislative progress has been made to protect the health of airline employees and travelers and preserve jobs in the short term, the road to recovery is long, and much more needs to be done.
History shows that having at least two fully qualified, highly trained, and well-rested pilots on the flight deck is an airliner’s strongest safety asset, yet some special interest groups continue to push for reducing the flight crew on board to cut operational costs.
Mitigating Fatigue for All-Cargo Pilots
Cargo airlines fly the same aircraft, take off from the same airports, utilize the same airspace, and fly over the same cities as passenger aircraft, but when regulations were implemented in 2014 to address airline pilot fatigue, cargo operations were excluded.
Unfair Business Practices Threaten U.S. Airlines
International aviation has seen developing headwinds to the pilot profession and to the competitiveness of U.S. air carriers. If unchecked, the global growth of flag-of-convenience air carriers and other atypical employment practices will radically undermine labor relations, aviation safety, and the stability of the domestic airline industry.
Flight Deck Barriers Are Critical to Security
The downing of four commercial airplanes and loss of nearly 3,000 lives on 9/11 was due, in part, to inadequate protection of the aircraft flight deck. Hardened flight deck doors have improved security on passenger aircraft, but a secondary barrier would be an added layer of protection. Meanwhile, a glaring security gap remains with all-cargo operations, which have no such requirements for intrusion-resistant doors.
Fly America Act
The Fly America Act supports the transportation of U.S. government personnel, contractors, and cargo on U.S. airlines, but recent decisions by the General Services Administration that fail to follow the act are a threat to the U.S. commercial airline sector is vital to our national security.
For decades, U.S. airlines have grossly abused the bankruptcy process with the consent of the courts, despite Congress never intending this outcome. Employee relief from the structurally disadvantageous and inequitable bankruptcy code is necessary.
Future of the Profession
Attracting the best and brightest to join the ranks of today’s professional airline pilots continues to be a priority ALPA initiative. Based on all indications, now is an outstanding time to choose the airline pilot profession.
Also on Our Radar
Other hot-topic issues that we are monitoring include sustainable aviation, cybersecurity, the Federal Flight Deck Officer Program, joint ventures between U.S. and foreign carriers, modernizing the national air space for new entrants, transportation of hazardous materials/dangerous goods, cabin air quality, cargo security, and the dignity of work and labor rights.
Battling the Pandemic, Rebuilding Our Economy, and Connecting the World
U.S. elected representatives face at least two immediate and unprecedented crises: addressing the intensifying COVID-19 global health pandemic and revitalizing the U.S. economy. Airline pilots—responsible for the safe transportation of goods and personnel—are essential to accomplishing both.