Release #: 21.31
June 08, 2021

ALPA Names Senator Maria Cantwell “Pilot Partisan of the Year”

Esteemed Legislator Known for Championing Airline Safety and Pilot Issues

McLEAN, Va.— The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) presented Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) with its top legislative honor, Pilot Partisan of the Year. The award was presented this week during the union’s Legislative Summit.

As chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Cantwell has spent much of her political career advocating on behalf of aviation workers. Most recently, she helped lead the critical, proworker Payroll Support Program (PSP), which not only helped save jobs, but also positioned the airline industry for success as the economy begins to recover and flying demand increases. Today, we are seeing the benefits of this worker-first legislation, which also ensured that pilots were able to continue fulfilling their essential roles in distributing vaccines, transporting medical personnel and personal protective equipment, and keeping supply chains open.

“I can say definitively that without Sen. Cantwell, there would be no Payroll Support Program, and our industry, as well as our recovery, would still be struggling. Thanks to her leadership on the Senate Commerce Committee, the PSP is now hailed as one of the most job-saving legislative initiatives in this country’s history,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.

Cantwell has used her leadership position to help keep U.S. air transportation the safest in the world, while modernizing the national airspace system and integrating new and expanding users such as commercial spaceflight. At the same time, the senator has fought to protect U.S. aviation workers’ jobs and ensure that the United States has a strong aviation workforce for the future.

“Senator Cantwell has a strong commitment to the dignity of work—she is an unyielding advocate for the rights and well-being of working Americans,” added DePete.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 59,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or