December 15, 2016

Air Safety Organization Leaders Gather to Chart Future

More than two dozen ALPA Air Safety Organization (ASO) representatives assembled in Herndon, Va., on December 13–14 to review and discuss the ASO's activities and plans for 2017 at the biannual ASO Steering and Oversight Committee (SOC) meeting.

In his opening remarks, ALPA President Tim Canoll spoke on the growth of the Association, and the importance of the ASO's safety initiatives, while ALPA General Manager Lori Garver outlined the Association's 2016 Strategic Plan adopted by the ALPA Board of Directors.

Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA first vice president and national safety coordinator, discussed recent successes in advancing safety, security, and pilot assistance initiatives, such as closing loopholes in lithium-battery carriage regulations and expansion of the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. He also stressed the challenges of continued threats, like those posed by unmanned aircraft systems and efforts to reduce crew training and experience standards.

Capt. Canoll, Capt. DePete, and many of the leaders in attendance also made it a point to recognize the significant safety advancements that have been achieved under the watchful eye of Capt. Chuck Hogeman in his tenure as ALPA's Aviation Safety Chair. Capt. Hogeman steps down at the end of 2016 after serving in ALPA safety work for more than 20 years. In addressing the group, Capt. Hogeman remarked on the pride of seeing the safety improvements that ALPA has helped to accomplish over the years: "It was not by mistake—but by sheer will—and that is thanks to the strength of our 400 volunteers."

Beginning in 2017, Capt. Steve Jangelis will assume the role of Aviation Safety chair. Jangelis is presently ALPA's Airport and Ground Environment Committee chairman and flies the B-717 for Delta, based in New York. Having a wealth of aviation experience, he also represents on the FAA's Runway Safety Council, as industry co-chairman, and as a designated pilot representative to the FAA's Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee subcommittee for Airports.

Presentations from ALPA's Engineering and Air Safety Department showcased its diverse range of expertise. Captain Rich Hughey of the President's Committee for Cargo presented opportunities for advancing safety and security in cargo operations, and Capt. Peter Black discussed the unique challenges faced by pilots north of the 60th Parallel in the report of the President's Committee for Remote Operations.

Look for more coverage of this event in the next issue of Air Line Pilot. The next meeting of the ASO SOC is planned for a to-be-determined date in 2017.