Pilots Unite

It’s hard to predict what will capture the public’s attention. This month, two popular stories went viral on social and traditional media that were both fueled by the public rallying behind an “injustice”: The arrest of a 14-year-old for bringing a homemade clock to school that was hastily misidentified as a makeshift bomb and mindless comments made by a television personality about nurses carrying “doctors’” stethoscopes. While one could argue the merits of either situation, the fact remains that the public outcry over social injustice would not be contained. As a result of the unrelenting public pressure, the charges against the young student were dropped, and the talk show immediately issued a public apology. I mention these two timely examples of the positive effect that comes with collective, united passion as we battle our own “injustices” in the airline industry.

As you’ll read in Capt. Canoll’s column, we have four Calls to Action that require ALPA member participation if we are to ever invoke the groundswell needed to incite change for a few of the injustices that affect the airline piloting profession: regulations regarding the air transport of lithium batteries, installation of secondary cockpit barriers, repealing the health-care excise tax, and stemming the pilot pay shortage.

And if these four topics don’t illustrate the diversity of challenges that the Association faces on a daily basis, a quick glance at this issue of Air Line Pilot does just that. We have an environmental update from the director of ALPA’s Energy and Environment Group that informs our members on ALPA’s efforts to achieve cleaner air and skies while maintaining the highest levels of safety.

Also, our regular analysis of the state of the airline industry by ALPA’s Economic & Financial Analysis Department highlights both the positive and negative aspects of today’s airline environment, which, as we all know, greatly affects the current bargaining cycle. Today, more than half of our pilot groups are in negotiations. In September and October, a total of just more than 5,500 ALPA members at Air Wisconsin, FedEx Express, Mesa, and Trans States had or will have tentative agreements to vote on. The master executive councils, pilot volunteers, and staff are all supporting robust road show schedules to inform and educate line pilots on the details of the agreements. It’s crucial that our members get the correct information in order to make the best decision for themselves and for the airline piloting profession as a whole.

Whether voting on a tentative agreement or rallying for a cause, the members of the Air Line Pilots Association, International have the numbers and the passion to let their collective voice be heard and make an impact. Every decision and every action have a lasting effect on a profession we are all passionate about—as airline pilots or the staff supporting you.