ALPA's Communications Department provides information and support for news media inquiries. An ALPA communications representative can be reached in the Herndon, Va. office at (703) 481-4440.
November 8, 2001
ALPA Urges Government to Rapidly Implement Greater Security Measures Across Canadas Airline System
OTTAWA ---The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), today urged the government to take a leading role in the implementation and funding of airline security measures across Canada because the nation needs to protect itself against the possibility of future terrorist acts like those that occurred in the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Canada is not immune to terrorism," said Capt. Kent Hardisty, ALPA executive vice president. "No nation is immune. Canada must immediately establish the proper safeguards to protect its citizens from experiencing any horrors similar to those of September 11th. And the government must take the lead role in instituting an advanced civil aviation security system. Action must be taken now."
Capt. Hardisty made his appeal at a hearing convened by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport on aviation security.
In a written submission, Capt. Hardisty provided the Standing Committee with the Associations list of 21 recommendations for change to current security requirements. ALPA security representatives provided this list to Transport Canada during a technical meeting held in Ottawa on Oct. 3, 2001. These recommendations form a "new aviation security blueprint, which reaches much further in scope and depth than what was in place pre-September 11," Capt. Hardisty said.
Among the most pressing recommendations included in ALPAs list are: improving, and removing all inconsistencies in, the screening of personnel with access to secure areas of airports; adopting programmes to prevent passengers with hostile intent from accessing aircraft; strengthening the screening process for carry-on baggage including improving the training and supervision of screeners; installing stronger cockpit doors on all aircraft doors should be retrofitted in the existing airline fleet and installed on new airplanes; and requiring airlines to change their policies for dealing with hijackers to effectively address the new threat of suicidal hijackers.
Because "aviation forms the wings of the Canadian economy, immediate action by the government to fortify its security infrastructure is of national importance," Capt. Hardisty said. "Without a strong and vibrant airline industry, our economy is in serious peril Aviation is a resource that we may have taken for granted before, but cannot afford to so again. After the events of September 11, ALPA contends that our nations economy is dependent inextricably linked on our air travel and transport system."
If the government, ALPA and other pilots unions, the airline industy, airline manufacturers, and other involved parties work together to strengthen airline security, and this work is supported by sufficient investment at the federal level, "we can boost the publics confidence in returning to the skies and in our own way, win the war against terrorism at home," Capt. Hardisty said.
ALPA represents 66,000 airline pilots at 47 airlines in Canada and the U.S. Its Web site is at http://cf.alpa.org. The full transcript of Capt. Hardistys testimony is available on the Web page.
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ALPA CONTACTS: Ron Lovas, Michelle Snyder (703) 481-4440