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Air Line Pilot, February 2004, p.31

NTSB Cargo Safety Forum

NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman announced, at the 2003 ALPA Air Safety Forum, that the NTSB would hold a Cargo Safety Forum to investigate safety of the cargo airline industry. ALPA has advocated such a forum since investigating the Feb. 6, 2000, crash of Emery Worldwide Flight 17. A project team, led by ALPA’s Air Safety Committee with members from ALPA’s President’s Committee for Cargo, National Security Committee, and Flight/Duty Time Committee, developed ALPA’s inputs. The Forum will be a 2-day public meeting March 30-31, with technical panels on four broad topics: operations, regulation and certification, human factors, and maintenance. Participating organizations will be asked to submit issue papers, some of which will be the subject of formal presentations at the meeting, and participants will be able to question panelists.

IFALPA and the A380

At the invitation of Airbus, an International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations delegation visited Airbus’s facility in Toulouse, France, in September 2003. The delegation, which included two members of ALPA’s Air Safety Committee and IFALPA’s president, Capt. Dennis Dolan, learned more about the development and new technologies of the A380 and discussed the operational issues that may arise when the airplane enters service.

Contract Enforcement

ALPA’s Representation Department conducted its yearly Grievance Process Training Seminar for pilot representatives and staff in November 2003, in Herndon, Va. More than 40 participants from ALPA airlines around the United States and Canada attended the intensive course. Arbitration cases that the Department recently handled have had very favorable results for ALPA pilots. One of the most noteworthy was the award of approximately $450,000 to Ryan pilots whom airline management did not give the opportunity to fill vacancies at Aer Lingus and JMC pursuant to a "reciprocity agreement" with those carriers for staffing. The arbitrator ordered that pilots be "made whole" for their losses. Ryan management has challenged the decision, and ALPA is taking steps to enforce it.

Joint Implementation Monitoring & Data Analysis Team

ALPA’s Engineering and Air Safety Department has been supporting the government/industry Joint Implementation Monitoring & Data Analysis Team (JIMDAT), which is part of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team. JIMDAT’s goal is to assemble a list of the safety enhancements that the Joint Safety Implementation Teams, also part of CAST, have developed regarding U.S. and non-U.S. fatal and hull-loss accidents and to prioritize the recommended enhancements using a mathematical model that determines potential risk reduction. The model also takes into account effectiveness of the enhancements and the availability of resources. CAST will use this final product to decide the order in which to implement safety enhancements.

Cargo Carrier Meeting

ALPA’s Representation, Economic and Financial Analysis, and Legal Departments participated in and coordinated a large part of the agenda for the Cargo Carrier meeting held in the Association’s Washington, D.C., offices in October 2003. Methods for improving scope and job security protection at cargo carriers, along with contract and representation issues, received careful attention and discussion by pilot representatives from Atlas, FedEx, Gemini, Kitty Hawk, Northwest, and Polar.

National Security Committee Meeting

ALPA’s Canada Board sponsored a joint meeting of the Association’s National Security Committee and MEC Security Coordinators in Ottawa, in September 2003. This was the first such event held in Canada and featured presentations by Transport Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the U.S. Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS). The meeting helped to strengthen the relationship between Canadian pilots and the RCMP regarding that agency’s Aircraft Protective Officer program, which is designed to place armed law enforcement officers on Canadian airliners and is similar to the FAMS program.

Criminalization of Accidents

ALPA, in 2003, began a Criminalization of Accidents Project Team to coordinate ALPA’s efforts regarding issues surrounding the efforts of some jurisdictions to bring criminal charges after aircraft incidents and accidents. The Project Team’s leader, Capt. Lindsay Fenwick (Northwest), and a member, Capt. Robert Sumwalt (US Airways), attended a Flight Safety Foundation Icarus Committee meeting in Montreal in September 2003 on criminalization of accidents and an International Civil Aviation Organization proposal for new Annex 13 language that would protect accident and incident records. The Team also participated in several airline industry forums and meetings on the subject, including those of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, the FSF Icarus Committee, and the Global Aviation Information Network, but the Team believes that any real changes will be slow in coming.