Honoring Those Who ‘Embody and Exude Perseverance’

Air Safety Forum (ASF) week concluded on Thursday, September 15, with an awards banquet to honor pilots receiving ALPA’s highest awards for Air Safety, Aviation Security, Aviation Jumpseat, and Pilot Assistance for 2019, 2020, and 2021. After a two-year pandemic hiatus, more than 40 ASF awards were presented over two evening banquets as well as during a special lunchtime ceremony on Thursday.

At the lunch ceremony, ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete presented multiple Airport Safety Liaison (ASL) and Airport of the Year awards. Receiving the 2019 ASL Award was Capt. Craig Boxrucker (ALA), 2020 saw two honorees in Capt. Kevin Berry (FDX) and F/O Jason Herman (DAL), and Capt. Ron Grimberg (JAZ) received the honor for 2021. The 2019 Airport of the Year was Vancouver International Airport (YVR), 2020 was Denver International Airport (DEN), and 2021 was Clyde River Airport (YCY).

Referencing the week’s theme—“Perseverance Through Strength and Unity”—DePete opened the evening’s festivities: “We pay tribute to ALPA pilots who embody and exude perseverance. They have either found a way—or created one—to deliver on their dedication to improving aviation jumpseat, pilot assistance, aviation security, and aviation safety.”

ALPA first vice president and national safety coordinator Capt. Bob Fox, standing in for Air Safety Organization (ASO) Jumpseat chair Capt. Richard Odbert (FDX), joined DePete for presentation of the Aviation Jumpseat Awards. For 2019, ALPA honored F/O Joseph Chance (FDX) for his efforts on the award-winning Jumpseat Etiquette video. The 2020 award went to Capt. Bob Spadea (UAL) for his work in establishing the Jumpseat structure within the Air Safety Organization. For 2021, Capt. Anthony “A.J.” Berlotti (ALA) was honored for his leadership and initiative during the COVID-19 crisis.

ASO Pilot Assistance chair F/O John Taylor (UAL), replaced Fox on stage to present three years of Pilot Assistance Awards. Capt. Murray Munro (JAZ) was honored with the 2019 award for his 15 years as chair of ALPA’s Canadian Pilot Assistance program. For 2020, ALPA honored Capt. Travis Ludwig (UAL) for his representation of the Association with the RTCA group on flight deck and cabin cleaning during the pandemic. Capt. John McFadden (UAL) received the 2021 award for his work with the Critical Incident Response Program.

DePete presented the Aviation Security Awards next, assisted by Capt. Wolfgang Koch (DAL), ASO Security chair. First up was Capt. Ali Frohlich (DAL), who received the 2019 honor for increasing communication between ALPA and the Department of Defense and the Secret Service as a special liaison. For 2020, Capt. Steven Curry (UAL) was honored for his work as a law enforcement expert. Receiving the 2021 award was Capt. Gregory Marion (SPA), who was honored for his ongoing work with Known Crewmember and the unpredictable screening process.

Finally, DePete presented ALPA’s oldest award, the Air Safety Award, first presented in 1957. He was joined by ASO Safety chair Capt. Frank Pizzonia (UAL). The 2019 Air Safety Award went to Capt. Scott Schwartz (FDX) for his tireless work in the realm of dangerous goods. Capt. Robert “Bob” Fulton (JAZ) received the honor in 2020 for his service on ALPA’s Accident Investigation Board and advancing accident prevention. For 2021, Capt. Dan Coogan (DAL) was honored with the Air Safety Award for his creation of a program that brought together information from the Aviation Safety Action Program and Flight Operations Quality Assurance.

DePete concluded the ceremony in saying, “Thank you all again for joining us this evening to recognize how ALPA pilots’ perseverance through strength and unity has reshaped our industry and continues to make it stronger, safer, and more secure.”

Learn more about this year’s honorees.

View Banquet Photos and Honorees

Air Safety Forum Day 4 Banquet