Air Safety Organization Update


ALPA’s Newest Safety Volunteers Go to School

In mid-March, ALPA’s Air Safety Organization (ASO) hosted its semiannual Basic Safety School (BSS) and Airport Safety Liaison (ASL) Training in Ottawa, Ont. ALPA’s BSS is a three-day course designed to prepare line pilots to serve their fellow ALPA members, as well as the traveling and shipping public, as ALPA safety representatives. The final half day of the training is reserved for those interested in serving as ASLs.

The course welcomed 27 pilots from 13 different pilot groups within the United States and Canada. F/O Donald Sterling (United) welcomed the group, saying, “It’s very gratifying to see the interest and commitment of line pilots stepping up to do this important work. That’s the main reason ALPA is the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization.”

BSS is the prerequisite for the ASO’s advanced training courses, which include

  • Safety Leadership School,
  • Risk Management,
  • Airport Safety Liaison Training,
  • Accident Investigation, and
  • Advanced Accident Investigation.

Attendees must be ALPA members in good standing and have received prior approval from their master executive council Central Air Safety chairman before registering for ALPA safety training courses. The next BSS will be held in ALPA’s Conference Center in Herndon, Va., on June 19–21.

ALPA’s Safety Experts Preview B-737 Max

In early March, pilot representatives from ALPA’s Air Safety Organization (ASO) Aircraft Design/Operations Group, along with staff from ALPA’s Engineering & Air Safety Department, were hosted by Boeing in Renton, Wash., to discuss system and operational differences between the B-737 NG and the new -737 MAX.

Several new systems available on the -737 MAX were reviewed, including the runway situational awareness tools and the roll control augmentation system. Boeing provided the team with the opportunity to see these new systems in operation in the engineering cab, a nonmotion flight simulator. The team also had the opportunity to observe the -737 MAX production line.

ALPA Attends Annual FAA UAS Symposium

Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) identification, security, and the use of automation for UAS and air traffic control services were major themes of the third annual FAA UAS Symposium held in March.

More than 1,000 individuals attended the UAS symposium, including F/O Vas Paterson (United), an ALPA Air Safety Organization representative, and ALPA Engineering & Air Safety Department staff.

FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell opened the symposium with the theme that the “FAA is open for [UAS] business,” inviting attendees to bring the agency their concepts of operation and safety cases. However, Elwell also acknowledged that Congress needs to change the laws so that the FAA can regulate model and hobby drones that aren’t flying in accordance with currently published guidelines.

During the three-day event, the FAA held numerous panels featuring FAA leadership for UAS integration, which included Ali Bahrami, the associate administrator of the FAA’s Aviation Safety Organization, and Angela Stubblefield, the deputy associate administrator of the FAA’s Security and Hazardous Materials Safety.


This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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