Air Safety Organization Update

Safety Reps Develop Their Leadership and Risk Management Skills

In early April, pilots from the United States and Canada gathered at ALPA’s Herndon, Va., Conference Center to participate in the Association’s Risk Management Course and Safety Leadership School, taught by ALPA’s Air Safety Organization (ASO) representatives and supported by Engineering & Air Safety Department staff.

F/O James Norman (Delta) welcomed participants to the Risk Management Course, noting, “while Canada has had Safety Management System [SMS] programs in place for over a decade, every U.S. carrier has, since March 9 of this year, been obligated to have an SMS program in place. While previous sessions of this course have been more rooted in the philosophy of SMS and risk management, today’s course focuses on practical knowledge and tools.”

The course familiarizes pilot safety representatives with safety reporting programs such as SMS, ASAP, and FOQA.

The Safety Leadership School prepares experienced safety reps to take on leadership positions within the ASO Aviation Safety structure and successfully address various situations or scenarios they may encounter with management and government reps.

The next Risk Management Course and Safety Leadership School are scheduled for mid-September.

ALPA’s Aviation Safety Chair Urges Pilots to Adhere to Guard Frequency Protocols

Those who monitor ATC communications and use of the guard frequency have contacted ALPA asking pilots to refrain from misuse of 121.5 for any communications other than an emergency and to use standard radio phraseology in all radio transmissions.

“I would like to remind all members to adhere to standard communications techniques and protocols at all times,” said Capt. Steve Jangelis (Delta), ALPA’s Aviation Safety chair. “The use of nonstandard phraseology can be a causal factor for confusion by other pilots trying to maintain situational awareness and events leading up to runway incursions, altitude deviations, frequency congestion, and near midair collisions.”

Jangelis also reminded pilots that transmissions on guard frequencies should be nearly nonexistent except for emergency situations or for passing critical information to mitigate hazardous situations.

Familiarization with and adherence to standard phraseology and use of the guard frequency only for communicating flight-safety issues will help ensure that the highest level of safety and professionalism is maintained.

Have questions? Contact ALPA’s Engineering & Air Safety Department at or 1-800-424-2470.

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

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