Release #: 15.18
May 20, 2015

Keep America Flying Safely and Fairly

Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s President, Addresses International Aviation Club of Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), in remarks before the International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C., today called for U.S. government leaders and lawmakers to advance the U.S. airline industry and its workers by safeguarding fair competition in the global marketplace and fostering air transportation modernization by passing a clean Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization.

ALPA’s president highlighted how subsidies received by Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways from their respective governments distort the global marketplace as well as the threat that unusual employment practices pose to the free market, the U.S. airline industry, and U.S. workers’ jobs.

“ALPA isn’t anti-Open Skies, but the agreements with United Arab Emirates and Qatar require that the parties provide their airlines with a fair and equal opportunity to compete. The United States should enforce this provision,” said Capt. Canoll in remarks before the club. In April, 262 members of Congress sent a bipartisan letter to U.S. government leaders urging consultations with the UAE and Qatar governments.

 “The administration should respond quickly and open consultations with these two governments to get the facts about their airlines’ finances,” said Capt. Canoll before the sold-out room. “We also request that the U.S. government seek a freeze on current passenger service by these carriers while consultations are under way.”

In addition, Capt. Canoll described the increasing use of new employment models, such as hiring workers through employment agencies or requiring pilots to create their own companies that then rent themselves out to the airline.

“These atypical business models dramatically undermine pilots’ ability to organize and to negotiate terms and conditions of employment,” said Capt. Canoll. “In addition, they raise serious safety questions if a pilot can no longer go directly to his or her employer with safety concerns. If allowed to cross the Atlantic, these models would ultimately erode the labor standards that have contributed to the success of the North American airline industry.”

The president of the world’s largest pilots union also called for a clean, on-time FAA reauthorization bill, noting that it must not contain the kinds of extraneous measures that have delayed the bill’s passage in the past. He maintained that Congress must provide the FAA with the dedicated, stable funding necessary to both fulfill its mandate and also move ahead with its vital work to enhance safety and system efficiency as well as modernization programs such as NextGen.

“In the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization, the focus needs to fall without distraction on maintaining and enhancing safety,” said Capt. Canoll. “Some are calling for shorter time lines, reduced oversight, and rolling back safety standards for first officer qualifications and preventing pilot fatigue. If our industry is to safeguard passengers, air cargo shippers, and flight crews, we cannot tolerate anything less than the highest possible safety standards.”

Capt. Canoll summarized ALPA’s forward-looking approach to advancing the safety, security, and economic competitiveness of the U.S. airline industry, explaining that the union looks for opportunities to inoculate against potential threats, to advance positive change that may not yield results now, but will pay off in the long run, creating a stronger industry. “At ALPA, we work to keep America flying safely, but we also want to keep it flying fairly,” he said.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 30 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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