Ready for Upload


From the telegraph to text messaging and carrier pigeons to Twitter, the way that humans communicate today is vastly different from centuries ago. The desire—turned need—for instant information in seven or eight seconds or less has become the norm, and technology has solidified a future of constantly changing forms of communication.

How is your union, the Air Line Pilots Association, International, adapting to the constant uploads to the newest technology? Airline pilots, as the operators of machines that rely on technology, are trained to adapt. Our profession welcomes any and all advancements that ensure we maintain the highest levels of safety in our aviation system. With every iteration of new technological tools in the cockpit, additional training is required. We should expect nothing less for new communication tools.

You’ll read in Capt. Canoll’s column that communicating with our members is of utmost importance. We listen carefully and strategically engage while communicating in every manner possible. In today’s world of traditional and new communications media, it’s essential that we use all of our communications tools to reach our vast membership. And to do so effectively and efficiently, we must develop a plan that addresses how best to implement all of our communication vehicles. Today, that means training, monitoring, and responding in a thoughtful and strategic way.

We’re committed to evolving with the rest of the world as new technology emerges with every passing day—not because our smartphones and tablets require the latest software upload, but because it’s essential that ALPA remains closely connected to our members. And when you have members who range in age from their 20s to their 60s, diversifying will only improve our success.

We are a union that grows through experience, and a notable course of action often comes as a result of tracking our best practices. ALPA staff continuously conducts after-action reports for every ALPA event. Whether it’s an ALPA conference or meeting, a public relations messaging campaign, engaging our pilots on Calls to Action on Capitol or Parliament Hills, or collective bargaining negotiations resulting in a tentative agreement, we build on our experiences and the feedback we receive from our pilots.

Communication is two way, and we want to hear from you. Soon, ALPA will poll its members on the best ways to communicate with you. Our ability to adapt and your feedback will create a stronger, more effective union.