Safety Is ALPA’s Payload

As ALPA’s first national officer who comes from an all-cargo carrier, I know from experience the unique challenges faced by pilots who fly freight. As the union’s first vice president and national safety coordinator, I also witness the common commitment to safety, pilot assistance, and security all ALPA pilots share, regardless of what they carry on their aircraft.

Air freight has been part of the North American airline industry since its beginnings. The first cargo flight occurred on November 7, 1910. It took 61 minutes to fly the 70-mile route that traced the railway line between Dayton and Columbus. This cargo flight moved merchandise, but it also gave a leg-up to local business, attracting a crowd of 3,000 people when it landed in Columbus and drawing public attention to a sale at the city’s largest store. Even with its inaugural flight, air freight proved a powerful economic driver.

Like the first passenger operations, all-cargo flying in the early airline industry was fraught with hazard. Ever since I became an ALPA member, I have recognized and respected ALPA’s history of safety advocacy that spans more than 80 years. Our union’s work has been integral to achieving the extraordinary level of safety that is the hallmark of our industry today.

During my first months in office, I have been honored to experience firsthand the incredible dedication and command of the issues that ALPA pilot volunteers and professional staff bring to bear as our union interacts with legislators, regulators, and airline industry stakeholders.

On every aspect of safety, pilot assistance, and security in air transportation, ALPA’s reputation stands out in our industry. From accident analysis and prevention, aircraft design and operations, and the airport and ground environment to sustainability and environment, air traffic, human factors and training, as well as supporting the health and well-being of our members and ensuring the security of our aircraft, this union excels like no other at bringing the line pilots’ perspective to aviation policy.

For passengers heading to visit family this summer or entrepreneurs shipping their latest inventions to new markets—ALPA’s Schedule with Safety philosophy positively affects every payload.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety
Tags: Cargo;