Leadership From the Cockpit
In 1949, North America’s first jetliner, the Avro Canada C102, debuts. It never goes into mass production, but it sparks intense interest among the flying public in the speed of air travel by jet.
In 1967, Boeing unveils the 737, a ubiquitous twin-engine narrowbody that is still in production today.
Early 737s require a three-person crew due in part to ALPA policies, but the flight engineer position is eventually eliminated after a joint FAA/Boeing flight crew of only two flies numerous scenarios in the Boston, Mass.–Washington, D.C., corridor, including approaches to minimums, go-arounds, diversions, simulated instrument failures, and crew incapacitation.
In July 1931, 24 “Key Men” founded the Air Line Pilots Association with one goal: to advance aviation safety. Today, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world, with more than 53,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Our pilots safely transport hundreds of thousands of passengers and tons of cargo around the world every day.
In recognition of our 85th anniversary this week, we’ll be highlighting a handful of key aircraft that helped revolutionize the airline industry since ALPA was founded, taking an upfront look at a how pilots’ “front offices” have changed over the years, and how ALPA has helped make them safer.
Amid record setting profits and the launch of daily service to Narita, ALPA President Capt. Tim Canoll joined hundreds of Hawaiian Airlines pilots at Honolulu International Airport for an informational picketing event. As the airline celebrated its inaugural Honolulu-Narita daily route, pilots warned passengers that their island vacations could be at risk if the pilot group is forced by management into a lawful strike.
“We regret the inconvenience to our domestic and international customers, but we want to make sure all of them are aware of the labor strife at our airline and the bargaining position of our management that has led to this point,” said Capt. Hoon Lee, chairman of ALPA’s Hawaiian Airlines group.
Read more about today’s picketing event here.
As ALPA celebrates its 85th anniversary this month, Federal Aviation Administration Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Peggy Gilligan offered a guest commentary for Air Line Pilot on ALPA’s lasting and important role in advancing aviation safety throughout the years.
“When it comes to getting the job done and getting it done well, the Air Line Pilots Association has long been known as a go-to group—not just for safety and efficiency, but for forward thinking as well,” wrote Gilligan.
Since 1931, ALPA has been a central figure in building a strong, safe, and secure North American airline industry. For more on ALPA’s contributions over the decades, read Gilligan’s full article here.
Happy Birthday, Boeing! 100 years ago today, William Boeing formed the Boeing Company in Seattle, revolutionizing commercial air travel and military aviation for years to come. Since its inception in 1916, Boeing has committed itself to the safety and security of the flight crews and passengers who fly aboard its aircraft throughout the world, and ALPA pilots are proud to be an important part of its rich history.