Taking Control

Airline Pilot Magazine July-July 2015

This month unveiled a superb illustration of pilots’ taking control: the pilots of Virgin America voted overwhelmingly in favor of ALPA representation. I was privileged to witness this historic accomplishment, which was the hard-earned result of Virgin America pilots working alongside ALPA pilots and staff with team precision to reach their goal. 

In a similar fashion of taking command in Canada, ALPA pilots and staff worked together to develop the Association’s newest advocacy white paper, State of Our Skies: Canada, which calls on the Canadian government to promote an environment that allows fair opportunities for Canadian airlines and airline workers. ALPA distributed the document on Parliament Hill, and pilots participated in Calls to Action, demonstrating their desire to take control of and carry forward the airline pilot message. 

In the United States, as the summer approaches and the FAA reauthorization expiration date looms, ALPA pilots and staff are fervently campaigning to keep America flying safely. With the powerful and recognizable tagline of “This Is Your Captain Speaking,” ALPA is imploring Congress to pass an on-time FAA reauthorization bill that puts safety first and to put aside any attempts to roll back safety regulations and add extraneous measures that could delay passage of the bill. 

An army of pilot foot soldiers and ALPA staff have been knocking on the doors of members of Congress, drawing attention to the all-important safety perspective of passing the FAA reauthorization bill. Personally witnessing ALPA members from more than a dozen pilot groups embrace our safety message and engage with their home-state members of Congress to seek support for ALPA’s safety priorities was indeed inspiring. 

As ALPA staff, as we continue to support the endeavors and activities of each pilot group and the union as a whole, we are continuously impressed by the foresight and vision of the members of this union. With our newest addition of the Virgin America pilots, we are now 31 pilot groups strong. Regardless of individual differences, we know that it’s the sum of our parts that makes us whole.