‘Safety Starts with 2,’ IFALPA 2024 Conference Update

By ALPA Staff
During the presidential panel “RCO Strategic Action Plan Update,” moderator Capt. John Sluys (Alaska), ALPA’s International Affairs director, left, facilitates a conversation among three pilot association presidents—from left, Capt. Ben Mansumitchai, International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations; Capt. Jason Ambrosi, ALPA; and Capt. Otjan de Bruijn, European Cockpit Association—about the global pilot campaign to fight efforts to reduce the number of pilots on the flight deck.

Capitalizing on the influx of global pilot advocacy over the past year to expose the dangers of reduced-crew operations (RCO), the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) 13th annual Global Pilots Symposium convened in Mexico in May to expand on pilot collaboration and unity.

During a presidential panel discussion, pilot leaders from ALPA, the European Cockpit Association (ECA), and IFALPA discussed the encouraging level of engagement from their member pilots since last year’s symposium and how to use this momentum as leverage with decision-makers and regulators.

“As airline pilots, we know that there’s no replacement for the safety benefits of having at least two pilots on the flight deck at all times,” said Capt. Jason Ambrosi, ALPA’s president “That’s why it’s so important that we came together last year and committed to aggressively oppose any scenario designed to reduce the number of crewmembers on the flight deck. Doing so would put airline operations at risk and present a large step backward in our continual effort to improve safety performance.”

The ECA unveiled its European-focused public-awareness and education campaign “One Means None” aimed at exposing the safety and security risks of RCO to passengers, politicians, regulators, news media, and social influencers.

“The campaign challenges the false safety narrative of manufacturers while exposing their true commercially driven motivation,” said Capt. Otjan de Bruijn, ECA president. The campaign is also designed to trigger the public scrutiny of authorities and the role they play in the development and approval of RCO.

Several other IFALPA member associations discussed their individual pilot association’s efforts to support the “Safety Starts with 2” campaign—including leafleting airports, public and member information webinars, public-awareness campaigns, and significant social media engagement, with a ground swell of support for World Pilots’ Day. The audience heard from pilots leading campaigns in Australia/AIPA, Brazil/SNA, France/SNPL, Italy/ANPAC, the Netherlands/VNV, and the UK/BALPA. Learn more.

The one-day symposium kicked off the 78th IFALPA Conference, which focused on building recognition of the need for pilot advocacy campaigns targeting governments and industry stakeholders regarding key issues facing the profession. IFALPA’s Constitution and Bylaws was amended to realign elections and to hold the conference in Montreal, Qué., the seat of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), every other year so that world pilot leaders can engage more regularly with the ambassadors of their countries who ultimately can and do modify the standards and recommended practices that govern international aviation.

On the final day, member associations elected new IFALPA leaders, including the first two women to its Executive Board—Capt. Rola Hoteit (Lebanon), executive vice president, Africa/Middle East, and F/O Stacey Jackson (WestJet), executive vice president, Technical & Safety Standards, Canada.

The following ALPA pilots were elected to IFALPA leadership positions:

  • Deputy President, Executive Committee: Capt. Ron Hay, United States (Delta);
  • Executive Vice President, Technical & Safety Standards, Executive Committee: F/O Stacey Jackson, Canada (WestJet);
  • Executive Vice President, Caribbean & North America Region: Capt. John Sluys, United States (Alaska);
  • Regional Vice President, Asia & Pacific, US/CEP: Capt. Bill Bartels, United States (Delta);
  • Regional Vice President, Caribbean & North American (CAR/NAM), CAN/Arctic: Capt. Steven Bard, Canada (Canadian North);
  • Regional Vice President, CAR/NAM, NAT: Capt. Kathi Hurst, United States (United);
  • Regional Vice President, CAR/NAM, US/CEP: Capt. Bill Bartels, United States (Delta);
  • Chair, Aerodrome & Ground Environment Committee: Capt. Jeffrey Sedin, United States (United); and
  • Chair, Legal Committee: Capt. James Ball, Canada (WestJet).

Capt. Amornvaj “Ben” Mansumitchai, IFALPA president, remarked, “We welcome our newly elected officers to the IFALPA community. Their passion and commitment is truly inspiring, and I have no doubt they’ll lead with integrity and innovation. We also extend our deepest appreciation to our outgoing representatives for their tireless dedication and invaluable contributions to the global voice of pilots. Their legacy of service will continue to propel us forward.”

The group also voted in two new member associations: SNPL Morocco and ASOPLANE Ecuador. ALPA is a founding member of IFALPA, with delegations from both the United States and Canada. IFALPA has 74 member associations that represent more than 124,000 pilots around the world.

This article was originally published in the June 2024 issue of Air Line Pilot.

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