ALPA

Leadership From the Cockpit

Now as ever, ALPA’s top priority remains the safety of our passengers, cargo, and—just as importantly—our flight crewmembers. It is crucial every effort be taken to safeguard this essential workforce so vital to the health and well-being of our communities.

Categories: Advocacy
Tags: Canada


As the world confronts COVID-19, airline pilots are doing our jobs: safeguarding passengers and freight while bringing people, goods, and services together to drive the global economy. As your captains and first officers, we need Congress to do its job by swiftly providing economic assistance to stabilize the airline industry and protect the frontline aviation workers who help keep our skies safe and our country moving.

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Government leaders are currently working on a third relief package that may include much-needed support for airlines. It is imperative that swift action be taken to ensure the viability of our industry and that frontline aviation workers are not left behind. ALPA is adamant that any airline relief program must include strong labor protections to ensure that frontline aviation employees and their families receive much-needed assistance.   

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Every four years, a leap year occurs to help sync the calendar year with the solar year. As we mark the first leap year in this new decade, it’s more important than ever that we help sync fatigue rules for U.S. cargo pilots with those pilots who fly for passenger airlines.

For decades, ALPA has advocated for One Level of Safety for the simple reason that a tired pilot is a tired pilot, regardless of payload. However, in 2011, when new fatigue rules were being implemented, airline financial interests and political pressure caused cargo pilots to be excluded from the regulations, creating a substandard level of safety. Despite this “cargo carveout,” there is no scientific basis for the separation of pilot duty and rest rules based on the type of operations they fly. Cargo pilots fly the same aircraft types, over the same routes, in the same airspace, and into the same airports as pilots of passenger airlines, and substandard levels of safety in regulations put the traveling public at risk.

To correct this situation, Congress recently introduced the Safe Skies Act that would apply the same flight, duty, and rest rules to cargo flights as commercial airlines to prevent the dangers posed by fatigued pilots. On the day it was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, ALPA stood shoulder to shoulder with cargo pilots from across the industry, as a united force with one united voice in support of the bill.

ALPA has been committed to achieving One Level of Safety for all for decades and will not stop until these science-based rules apply to all airline pilots. Join us in promoting One Level of Safety for all airline pilots and stress the importance of the Safe Skies Act by reaching out to your Member of Congress now to ask them to cosponsor S. 826/H.R. 5170.

Categories: Advocacy
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On the night of Feb. 12, 2009, Colgan Air Flight 3407, operating as a Continental Connection flight, crashed on approach to Buffalo, N.Y. Fifty people were fatally injured that night, including all four crewmembers, the 45 passengers, and one individual on the ground.

The crash was the last in a series of four high-profile fatal airline accidents over a six-year timeframe in the United States, and the ensuing investigation introduced serious questions regarding numerous safety issues within the airline industry. As a result, several notable safety advancements were enacted in the wake of the Colgan crash, including an increase in pilot training, qualifications, and experience requirements.

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