Tips for the Class of 2019

Special Guest Commentary by F/O Costas Sivyllis, ALPA Education Committee Chairman

Congratulations on your aviation career taking flight! You’ve soared through the skies to start your dream toward becoming a commercial airline pilot—but we all know landing here wasn’t simple. Completing flight school and graduating from one of the many top-notch aviation universities in the United States and Canada is an important first step.

For many airline pilots, the idea of learning to fly has been a part of us for as long as we can remember (it certainly was for me). Others have found inspiration while flying in a general aviation aircraft cockpit, service in the military, or from family and friends in the industry. Whatever your reason for starting your journey, we’re excited that you’re here now. You’ve made it through a rigorous curriculum and will go on to obtaining the certificates and ratings required to become a commercial airline pilot. And it’s never been a more excellent time to become a pilot! This is the safest time in our industry’s history. Plus, the career outlook in our industry remains strong, and pilots are in high demand.

When ALPA first opened its doors in 1931, we had one mission: to advance aviation safety. ALPA has a long history of accomplishments—from organizing and bargaining to critical improvements in aviation safety and security. Through the years, we’ve made great strides to become the industry leader in advancing the pilot profession. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way that might help you as you move forward in your career path:

  • An ALPA pilot is a professional pilot—our code of ethics embodies what we want our profession to be, and that standard should remain true for all pilots.
  • Safety isn’t an option, it’s a standard—no matter what situation we come across, we make sure safety comes first and foremost in our thought process.
  • Don’t rush your career. There are many beautiful moments ahead; enjoy each step of this journey—from the first hour you take a flight to your first airline job and beyond.
  • Respect the men and women who fought hard to make this career what it is, and know the path forward is paved with active participation. No one of us is bigger than the job. We all must work to ensure we protect the profession.
  • Always promote the pilot profession. No matter who you are or where you came from, if you love flying, you can be an airline pilot! Share your passion for flight with young minds and future leaders.

Finally, as you work toward earning your wings or pursuing another career in aviation, you now have the privilege and opportunity to continue the path forward for the next generation of aviation professionals.

Congratulations to the class of 2019 on a remarkable journey—you’re off to a flying start!

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