Release #: 17.26
June 13, 2017

ALPA Pilots Descend on Capitol Hill—Urge Lawmakers to Maintain First Officer Qualifications

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Nearly 200 pilot volunteers from the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) are fanning out across Capitol Hill this week, meeting with federal lawmakers and staff during the Association’s 2017 Legislative Summit to discuss the association's policy agenda, including how the current first officer qualification standards have been a critical component in our nation’s impressive commercial aviation safety record.

“America is currently enjoying the safest period of airline travel in history. That success is due in part to the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration [FAA] Extension Act of 2010, which strengthened pilot training as well as several other key safety regulations. It is critical to maintain the highest level of safety in our airspace and ensure that professional pilots remain highly qualified and well-trained. Maintaining strong, safety-focused pilot training and qualification standards will protect the traveling public and save lives,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s president.

During its legislative summit, ALPA pilots from across the country will call upon lawmakers to urge Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to resist attempts to diminish these crucial safety regulations. Additionally, ALPA is also asking for the traveling public’s help to spread the word that the most important safety feature on any flight is a well-trained, highly experienced, and qualified airline pilot.

Since passage of the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010, there have been no passenger fatalities due to an accident of a U.S. Part 121 passenger airline. Conversely, in the two decades prior to enactment of this aviation safety measure, there were more than 1,100 airline passenger fatalities (Part 121), according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

“The data is clear: our system is safer today because of these rules. Since the enactment of these safety regulations, issued and enforced by the FAA, passenger travel in the U.S. national airspace has become the safest transportation system in the world. It is important that we defend any action that could erode these standards as Congress begins the process for FAA reauthorization,” added Capt. Canoll.

ALPA pilots will also inform their elected officials on the importance of several other key issues affecting pilots today, including H.R. 2150, the Flags of Convenience Don’t Fly Here Act, which saves American jobs, halts offshoring schemes, and ensures a level playing field for U.S. aviation workers.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or