September 12, 2001
ALPA President Issues Statement On Resuming Flight Operations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Upon action by the Federal Aviation Administration to tighten security measures and enhance the safety of our national air transportation system before resuming flight operations, the president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International, Captain Duane Woerth, today issued the following statement:
Yesterday was, by any account, the darkest day in the history of commercial aviation.
I know that I speak for all of our pilots in offering condolences to the families of the United and American crews we tragically lost, to the families of the passengers and the other victims of those horrible acts, and to all Americans who were touched by yesterday’s events.
Airline pilots across the globe are outraged by yesterday’s acts of terrorism – that four commercial airline flights were used as pawns in this unspeakable plot.
Yesterday’s atrocities cannot – and will not – go unanswered. I have been working closely with our government leaders to let them know that I will devote the full resources of ALPA to assist in their investigation of these acts.
Furthermore, yesterday I convened our Security Committee, our national officers and staff and conferred through the night with key government officials -- most specifically, from the Department of Transportation, FAA, Transport Canada and the FBI. Together we have worked to develop emergency security directives for the short- and long-term, to protect our flight crews and passengers and to return our industry back into service.
The FAA has now issued new requirements to airlines and airport operators outlining necessary security enhancements. Some of these measures are:
1) An increased numbers of Federal Air Marshals on aircraft and law enforcement personnel in airports;
2) Enhanced screening of passengers and inspection of baggage
3) Significantly tighter restrictions on ramp access
4) The prohibition of knives of any sort on aircraft
5) Temporary elimination of mail or cargo transport on passenger aircraft, and a
6) Mandatory search of all aircraft prior to passenger boarding
We also expect that Transport Canada will issue revised security requirements later today that will closely reflect the FAA’s measures.
Inasmuch as we have reached an agreement with the FAA on these additional steps to enhance security and to make air travel as safe as humanly possible at this time, we are hereby advising our pilots to return to work at the call of their companies and to put our national aviation transportation system back on line.
We are urging pilots that in doing so, they not hesitate to exercise captain’s authority to the fullest extent to ensure the safety of each and every flight.
I pledge to all pilots in the U.S. and Canada that we will continue to work with government agencies and our carriers to make changes to further improve the system as the days and months proceed. With this improved system in place, and with the commitment to monitor the flying environment by all of us who are entrusted with its care, pilots are going back to work.
Established in 1931, ALPA represents more than 66,000 pilots at 47 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA Website at cf.alpa.org.
ALPA Contact: Anya Piazza or John Mazor, 703-481-4440