Leadership From the Cockpit

Today, ALPA is excited to announce the launch of “Ask a Pilot” - a new reoccurring segment of the union’s blog Leadership from the Cockpit.  

Through this new segment, blog followers can submit aviation-related questions for a chance to have it selected for posting on Leadership from the Cockpit, along with a response from one of ALPA’s airline pilots. 

How to participate? 3 Simple Steps:

1) Send your aviation-related questions to

2) Type “Ask a Pilot” in the subject line of the e-mail.

3) If selected, one of our pilots will respond to your question in a future “Ask a Pilot” segment.

Categories: Ask a Pilot

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) recent announcement that it will support an interim ban on all cargo shipments of lithium batteries on passenger airliners at an upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) meeting is promising news, but ALPA urges the FAA to strongly advocate its position at ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel, which is slated to meet later this month. Moreover, the United States must go further by fully regulating lithium battery shipment by air and implementing packaging restrictions and quantity limits on passenger and all-cargo aircraft.

Currently, lithium-ion batteries can be carried in all quantities as cargo on passenger and all-cargo flights. In its draft comment summary prepared for the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel Twenty-Fifth Meeting to be held October 19–30 in Montreal, the U.S. government states, “At this time, we feel it is necessary to support an interim prohibition on the carriage of lithium ion-batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft to ensure that the risk is mitigated while we continue to aggressively pursue development and implementation of the performance-based standard for air transport.” The FAA’s position came in response to recommendations submitted by First Officer Mark Rogers, ALPA’s former director of the Dangerous Goods Program and current IFALPA Dangerous Goods Committee chairman and ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel member.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety, International

From ALPA International to all our friends, members, and staff in Canada: Happy Thanksgiving! This weekend, as we join our Canadian colleagues to reflect on how and why we are so fortunate, we should be grateful for the generations of pilots who came before us who established and built this great union. Their legacy is ours to defend and build upon, not only for ourselves but for future generations of airline pilots.

Our union was founded on the core principle of democracy, and the achievements we have made over the decades have been through the ability to choose, solidarity, and plain hard work.

It seems fitting this year that Canada’s advance polling for the upcoming elections falls during the Thanksgiving holiday. For airline pilots who will be flying on October 19, Canada’s official Election Day, this weekend (October 9-12) provides the opportunity to participate in the democratic process at local electoral districts across the country.

Categories: Events
Tags: Canada

Today, I testified [oral|written] before the U.S. House of Representatives Aviation Subcommittee and urged lawmakers to direct the FAA to regulate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operated for recreation and hobby.

With the anticipated sales of one million UAS during this year’s holiday season, we must address all UAS operations immediately. The FAA is making some progress in ensuring the safe integration of UAS into our nation’s airspace system, but more is required. Just look at this summer’s release of the hundreds of FAA reports from pilots on UAS encounters. In these reports, pilots across the country described seeing a UAS while in flight, often during takeoff and landing, the most critical phases of flight.

In order to continue to track these instances, ALPA has been encouraging pilots who encounter a UAS to follow their company guidance and, where applicable, file a report with the FAA. There is a dedicated page on ALPA’s website, available to anyone, that helps pilots understand whether the encounter is likely reportable as a near mid-air collision and provides the links and information needed to submit the necessary information.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety

ALPA pilots were on Capitol Hill this week as the U.S. federal government took steps to avert a shutdown and Congress extended the current authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) until March 31, 2016.

It is indeed good news that the FAA’s authorization has been extended, but this week’s temporary fix is just the latest example of Congress’s long history of stop-and-start funding for the agency. While erratic reauthorization has made it challenging for the FAA to implement necessary safety and air traffic system upgrades, the progress made during its most recent three-year reauthorization offers a taste of the advancement that stable funding makes possible. For example, over the last three years, the FAA made significant strides in air traffic flow and coordination through en route automation modernization (ERAM) and gained safety, environmental, and efficiency benefits through a number of NextGen initiatives such as ADS-B and performance-based navigation implementation.

Categories: Advocacy, Safety, Security


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