National Aviation Day: 5 Ways Airline Pilots Make Aviation Safer and More Secure

Airline pilots’ job one? Aviation safety. It’s the cornerstone of the Air Line Pilots Association International’s very mission: “To promote and champion all aspects of aviation safety throughout all segments of the aviation community.”

It’s also the reason why ALPA is the largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization in the world, powered by airline pilots who volunteer their time and expertise to make the safest mode of transportation on earth even safer. And today, ALPA proudly celebrates National Aviation Day by sharing just a few of our pilots’ many contributions to aviation safety and security. Maybe you’ll notice them on your next flight.

1) ALPA fought for “fasten seatbelt” signs in passenger airliners after a passenger was seriously injured by turbulence on a flight.

2) ALPA has led the fight in North America and around the world to reduce the safety risk posed by lithium batteries carried as cargo on passenger and all-cargo aircraft. Although more work remains to be done, the risk of a cargo fire onboard airline aircraft from these shipments has been significantly reduced.

3) ALPA campaigned successfully to protect airliner fuel tanks against lightning strikes.

4) Thousands of ALPA pilots serve as Federal Flight Deck Officers (FFDOs), who protect about 100,000 flights per month. The FFDO program is one of many security initiatives that ALPA pilots successfully lobbied for following the events of 9/11; other improvements include reinforced cockpit doors.

5) The distance between exits on passenger airliners cannot exceed 60 feet, because ALPA pushed back against a proposal to increase the gap. 


For many, National Aviation Day is a day to celebrate our great industry. National Aviation Day is a day dedicated to remembering aviation’s past and to sharing the moments that have improved our industry, making it safer and more secure. Due to our members’ “leadership from the cockpit,” ALPA’s voice has been a key contributor to our industry’s success, which has led to our world-renowned safety record. That’s why, in honor of National Aviation Day, we are proud to relaunch our blog, Leadership from the Cockpit. This blog communicates the voice of our members and provides the general public with a flight plan that highlights how ALPA pilots are advancing the future of air transportation. Come aboard by subscribing to Leadership from the Cockpit today.

Learn more about how ALPA airline pilots keep America flying at or by watching this short video. Or download our new whitepaper to read about the safety and security issues our pilots are currently advocating for, and what you might next see on your airplane.

Categories: Events, Safety