Airline Pilots Securing Their Future through ALPA

Air Line Pilot, October 2004, p.29

Setting Our Sites on the Internet

In mid-October, ALPA will unveil a new Internet presence for the Association in the form of two distinct websites. One site, Crewroom.alpa. org, will provide ALPA’s members with tools and information to help them in their jobs and as members of the world’s largest airline pilots union. The second site, www.alpa. org, will promote pilots’ perspectives and inform public audiences about ALPA, its members, and its positions on airline industry issues., the new members-only site, will build on the current members’ portal. It will provide ALPA members with a real-time, comprehensive portfolio of their individual membership information. Crewroom.alpa. org will also detail the latest airline industry developments. From safety bulletins to insurance coverage, ALPA’s new members-only site will keep members updated on union activities in an easy-to-navigate format that will assure its users complete security.

At the same time, the newly renovated site will be geared to give ALPA members a nimble and powerful voice for reaching public audiences. Browsers will find the Association website packed with compelling information about airline pilots and the airline industry, including incisive presentations on topics such as the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, cabotage, foreign ownership, and cockpit image recorders.

"Our goal is to make ALPA’s website a vital tool for our members wherever they travel and to promote the perspective of piloting professionals to public audiences around the globe," says ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth.

These two new websites are the product of a thoughtful and deliberative process. Over the past months, a team of staff members from several of ALPA’s departments has gathered information from Association leaders, met with ALPA staff, surveyed members through questionnaires, and conducted focus groups with members from a broad range of airlines. "The result is a web presence with structure and content shaped to meet the needs of ALPA’s members and to effectively promote the Association’s interests and perspectives to the audiences that affect our industry," explains Capt. Chris Beebe, ALPA’s vice-president-finance/treasurer and chairman of ALPA’s Electronic Data Processing Committee.

Members-only site

The team learned from surveys that most of ALPA’s members visit the Association’s website about once a week, usually from their home computers. In these surveys and focus groups, ALPA members made clear that they depend on the Association’s website as a vital information link with their union.

As a result, the ALPA Crewroom is filled with news and information about the union and provides a secure catalogue of each member’s current union benefits.

The members-only site will include the following highlights:

• My ALPA—This breakthrough sub-site will be each ALPA member’s personal membership management tool. My ALPA will present an individual pilot’s membership information in a convenient "topic tab" format. By clicking on a topic tab, a member will be able to review the current information on file, update information, or manage insurance and other benefit programs. E-mail, election and ballot information, and commonly used ALPA forms, including those for expense reimbursement, will also be part of My ALPA.

In addition, contact information for MECs and LECs as well as for all of ALPA’s member benefits will be found in the My ALPA section.

• Airline Industry News will feature a sampling of news coverage from across the United States and Canada. The team has developed a unique, comprehensive, real-time news feed just for ALPA members. Through it, ALPA members will be able to read about airline industry issues and developments within individual airlines as they are reported in the news media. At any time, day or night, members can visit the site to peruse news gathered from more than 9,000 sources.

• Action Alerts—Every year, ALPA members get involved in issues they care about and e-mail, write, or telephone their members of Congress or other officials to share their views on legislation or policies that affect the airline industry. The Crewroom site will provide pilot activists with the information they need to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill.

• Safety/Security Updates—From safety and security alerts to operations bulletins, ALPA’s team of safety experts compiles the comprehensive safety information that pilots need. This will be posted in one central location of the members-only site.

• Quick Links—MEC/LEC or committee web pages will be easy to access by clicking one of the Quick Links located on the navigation bar at the top of the member page.

• Library—ALPA’s online library will be members’ preeminent Internet resource for economic-research, safety, negotiation, organizing, and contract-enforcement documents.

ALPA’s public voice:

ALPA’s new public site is being crafted to be one of the Association’s most important communication and advocacy tools. The simple-to-navigate site will advance ALPA members’ perspectives on legislation, aviation policy, and other industry issues for Internet audiences from congressional staffers to airline travelers. In addition, ALPA’s public site is being tailored to help connect airline management and influential government agencies with ALPA’s views and expertise.

The redesigned features on the public site will include these highlights:

• President’s Corner will describe the ALPA President’s work on behalf of Association members. Whether testifying before a congressional committee, speaking with a key national journalist, or attending a pilot group meeting, ALPA’s President will share, in President’s Corner, his work to represent each union member.

• In the Cockpit will provide snapshots of the latest issues, or ALPA’s historic positions, that influence the piloting profession and the industry. Browsers will find briefings on security, international, safety, and union issues, along with links to additional background information.

• ALPA’s News Media Center will present a one-stop shop on ALPA and aviation issues for influential journalists. The Center will feature the latest news from airline pilots as well as resource materials on ALPA members’ top issues. This reporters’ resource will showcase recent speeches and testimony of union leaders and a news release archive. ALPA’s latest news release will be highlighted as the main "News From Pilots" story on the ALPA public home page. Once a new top story emerges, the news release will then become archived under one of the individual topic tabs.

• Benefits of an International Union will provide non-ALPA pilots with a glimpse into all the union representation and collective-bargaining benefits that international union membership offers flightcrew members.

• History Time Lines will vividly illustrate and chronicle the pilot labor movement and the pivotal achievements in aviation safety over the past decades.

ALPA will continue to refine both websites to ensure that the Association enjoys the strongest possible online presence. While some features may be available in the near future, rather than at the initial launch in October, the architecture and content of the new site is the culmination of the input of a multitude of ALPA members. It is truly a union website and unifies ALPA’s members and their message for all to see.