October 23, 2015

ALPA Executive Board Welcomes VRD Pilots, Talks Future

ALPA's Executive Board assembled Wednesday and Thursday, October 21-22, for its 117th regular meeting to review policies, report on projects, and discuss recommendations for the Association's future. Gathering at the union's Herndon, Va. Conference Center, Board members began the two-day confab with national officers' reports (watch highlights).

"We never stop working. We never stop trying to do a better job to meet the needs of all of our individual, unique pilot groups," said ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll, in his opening remarks. "Thank you all for stepping up to the challenge of meeting those needs." Canoll highlighted the many ALPA contract negotiations underway and encouraged ALPA's pilot leaders to fully engage with their respective members by more actively communicating and soliciting member feedback. 

Executive Board
Capt. Canoll addressing the Executive Board October 21.

Canoll also welcomed ALPA's newest pilot group, Virgin America. "Ninety-five percent of Virgin America pilots participated in the vote, with 75 percent voting for ALPA representation," Canoll said, adding that the election had "one of the highest counts in ALPA history." He also commended the pilots for conducting an outstanding membership drive, currently at 95 percent.

"I am honored to be sitting at the table of one of ALPA's most powerful bodies," VRD temporary MEC chairman Capt. Jose Palacios said. "It was time for the Virgin America pilots to be heard collectively by our management."

ALPA first vice president Capt. Joe DePete delivered the Association's Air Safety Organization (ASO) update, highlighting projects like ALPA's participation in the Pilot Fitness Aviation Rulemaking Committee. He challenged ALPA leaders to get more of their pilots involved in ASO activities, adding that he sees "these individuals as additional untapped resources in the form of future subject-matter experts."

ALPA vice president–administration/secretary Capt. Bill Couette reviewed several of the Association's member service improvements like the new electronic membership card and recent updates to the ALPA website. Couette emphasized the importance of voting, stressing the need for pilot participation in ALPA elections and ratification votes. "Our system of governance works best when everyone participates," Couette added.

"I'm pleased to report that ALPA's financial position remains healthy and that we are on track to rebuild the Association's finances from the last decade," said ALPA vice president–finance/treasurer Capt. Randy Helling. He outlined how the union is recapitalizing its Major Contingency Fund and reinvesting in ALPA's wholly owned insurance company, Kitty Hawk.

MEC chairmen shared pilot group updates. Executive Board members also received a briefing from Capt. Don Wykoff (Delta), Flight Time/Duty Time Committee chair, on improvements to ALPA's FAR Part 117 app. Former U.S. Trade representative Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky joined the Board to talk about the status of "Open Skies" discussions with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In addition, Board members were divided among four delegate committees to review member resolutions and continue the Association's strategic planning process.

Watch highlights of the national officers' reports, view photos from throughout the Executive Board meeting, and look for more coverage in the November issue of Air Line Pilot.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 52,000 pilots at 30 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org