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News Release

Release #02.073b
August 23, 2002

Manassas Pilot Honored With ALPA Presidential Citation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gene Couvillion, a United Airlines captain and resident of Manassas, VA, was awarded a Presidential Citation for Outstanding Service in Air Safety from the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA). The award was presented on Aug. 22, at the Association’s annual Air Safety Forum.

"Captain Couvillion is deserving of the 2002 Presidential Citation due to his hard work and activism to make aviation the safest mode of mass transportation," said ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth. "He has volunteered his time to the ALPA air safety effort, making the skies safer for both pilots and the traveling public."

Capt. Couvillion has been a key force in the development of the flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) program within United Airlines and at ALPA. He was instrumental developing the FOQA interpretive language for industry-wide information sharing under a new Federal Aviation Administration rule. He has served on a number of different committees including the Scheduling Committee, Professional Standards Committee, and FOQA Monitoring Committee. He also served on the FAA FOQA Aviation Rule Making Advisory Committee

"All told, Capt. Couvillion has volunteered more than 20 of his 37 years with United Airlines to support ALPA and his fellow pilots," added Capt. Woerth. "He has worked hard to make our business of commercial flying safer and better.

Capt. Couvillion was born and raised in Marksville, LA. He graduated from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, with a bachelor of science in physical science, majoring in chemistry. He has been married for more than 36 years to Amy Tassin, from Lake Charles.

ALPA is the union representing most commercial airline pilots in North America, and is the industry’s leading safety advocate. It represents more than 66,000 pilots at 43 carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Its website is


ALPA Contacts: John Mazor, Anya Piazza (703) 481-4440