Release #08.059
December 19, 2008

ALPA Hails LaHood Appointment as Next U.S. Transportation Secretary

WASHINGTON – Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, issued the following statement on President-elect Barack Obama’s appointment of Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) to head the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“ALPA’s more than 53,000 members join me in commending President-elect Obama for appointing former Rep. Ray LaHood as his administration’s Secretary of Transportation.

“For more than 14 years, Rep. LaHood has tirelessly forged bipartisan consensus in Congress to enhance this country’s transportation infrastructure. He recognizes the enormous contribution that the airline industry makes to the U.S. economy and the vital importance of ensuring that this country remains competitive by fostering a safe, modern, and efficient air transportation system for passengers and cargo.

“Throughout his career, Rep. LaHood has demonstrated enormous respect for U.S. workers. He has worked closely with labor groups, and particularly with ALPA, to advance policies that will protect workers while doing everything possible to ensure that our country remains economically strong.

“Rep. LaHood brings an extraordinary background to his new role. As both a former appropriator and a former member of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Aviation Subcommittee, he possesses a keen understanding of the opportunities and challenges the Department of Transportation faces in today’s global environment.

“We congratulate Congressman LaHood and look forward to working with him, and the new Administration, to continue to advance aviation safety, make flying as secure as possible, and position the U.S. airline industry and its workers to gain strength and to prosper in the future.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union representing 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada.


Contacts: Linda Shotwell or Molly Martin, 703/481-4440 or