Looking Ahead to Another Year of Keeping Our Skies Safe

Reflecting on the past year, it is clear that ALPA continues to lead the charge to maintain and improve aviation safety in both the United States and Canada. And as we look to 2018, we will stay the course toward our goal of ensuring that North American airline travel remains the safest mode of transportation in the world. From issues spanning fatigue, pilot training and qualifications, unmanned aircraft systems, carriage of hazardous materials, and so much more, ALPA is the safety conscience of the airline industry for passengers and cargo—constantly adapting and focusing on both imminent and long-term threats.

High on the list of targets for 2018 is to continue to thwart the efforts of interest-based groups who wish to roll back life-saving pilot training and qualification requirements that have led to the current record of zero fatalities on U.S. passenger airlines since 2009. That number alone should provide the justification needed to argue against modifying the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Act of 2010, which required the FAA to create new rules on pilot experience, training, qualifications, flight duty, and rest.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. In order to keep U.S. airline travel’s incredible safety record, ALPA remains committed to exposing the senselessness of rolling back these regulations. At ALPA’s urging, more than 40,000 letters were generated to lawmakers in 2017 to inform them of this misguided move to alter pilot training and experience. And most recently, ALPA ramped up these efforts with the launch of the Trained for Life campaign.

In the year ahead, we will continue to call on the House, Senate, and the administration to maintain the safety of our skies. We will remain proactive and committed in our efforts to #KeepFlyingSafe. Together, we will fight for what matters most of all—the safe transportation of our passengers and our cargo.

Similarly, in Canada, the collective efforts of ALPA and a number of aviation organizations have made an impact over the last 12 months. Thanks to the Safer Skies campaign, Canadians are more aware that, for pilots, safety is the top priority. For months, a dedicated team of Canadian aviation professionals joined forces to advocate with the government, industry stakeholders, and the public that any regulatory changes regarding fatigue rules or flight and duty times must be science-based, like the rules in the United States. We have also advocated for further consultation that draws on the expertise of the very same pilots who will be impacted by any rule changes.

As the regulatory process has inched forward, the unified pilot coalition in Canada has been quite clear in its dealings with the government. Canada’s pilots will continue to advocate for stronger fatigue rules, as all Canadian pilots—and passengers—deserve these critical improvments to safety. In 2018 we will continue working with the Canadian government to ensure the right decisions are made regarding flight- and duty-time regulations. ALPA is fully engaged and ready to keep working for improved pilot scheduling and fatigue management programs. 

When it comes to keeping our skies safe, there is no substitute for experience. Representing more than 59,000 pilots in Canada and the United States, ALPA is committed to ensuring that safety remains a priority in 2018 and that the safest place on earth is our skies. ALPA pilots are, and always will be, Trained for Life.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety