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.

News Release

Release #02.030
April 25, 2002

ALPA Concerned over Fate of Air China Pilot in Korea

WASHINGTON, D.C.---The head of the United States’ oldest and largest airline pilot union today urged Korean authorities not to conduct criminal prosecutions of the Air China pilot involved in a B-767 accident in Pusan, South Korea earlier this month.

"Under the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13 and the terms of the Warsaw Convention, pilots should be liable to criminal prosecution only if their actions involve willful and wanton misconduct. The goal is to promote safety by allowing pilots to report accurately and completely on the events of an accident. A threat of criminal prosecution can only hamper aviation safety," said Capt. Duane Woerth, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), which represents 62,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.

"The world community of pilots already has expressed this concern through the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations; but I want to make this abundantly clear on behalf of our pilots who fly into South Korea. Not only does the threat of criminal prosecution not make for safer pilots – it is an insult to our professionalism to even think it might do so – but it actually is counterproductive to aviation safety," Woerth said.

"Therefore, I urge the South Korean authorities to allow the pilot to return to his country after he is released from the hospital and has dealt with any necessary preliminary inquiries," Woerth said.

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ALPA CONTACT: John Mazor (703) 481-4440