Leadership From the Cockpit

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

On Saturday, September 26, ALPA and the world’s aviation community celebrated Girls in Aviation Day, an international event sponsored by Women in Aviation International.

From Atlanta, Ga., to Ypsilanti, Mich., ALPA pilots were front and center in commemorating the day. Girls in Aviation Day is designed to give girls an opportunity to connect with other girls and women who are interested in aviation, explore careers in the aviation and aerospace industry, and experience firsthand what it’s like to be a pilot or other aviation industry professional.

As airline pilots, most of us felt the passion to fly from an early age—we knew we wanted to fly almost before we could walk. But understanding how to follow that passion required information and role models to show the way. Events like Girls in Aviation Day provide girls of all ages with the opportunity to meet pilots and other aviation professionals to learn about their real-word experiences and to ask questions in an encouraging environment.

Categories: Events
Tags: ALP-Features

Education is one important element in ALPA’s four-part solution to safely integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace. As a result, this week, ALPA joined the “Know Before You Fly” campaign, a public initiative designed to inform those interested in flying an unmanned aircraft about the safe and responsible operation of UAS.

Categories: Safety, Advocacy