Environment in the Spotlight
ALPA, other aviation groups, sponsor D.C. conference

March 19 - The effect of aviation on the environment may be debatable, but the effect that the environmental debate is having on aviation is very real. That fact was made very clear to the more than 200 attendees during the first day of Aviation and the Environment, a symposium sponsored jointly by ALPA and the Air Transport Association (ATA).

The event is being held March 19-20 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. Other sponsors include the Aerospace Industries Association, the Cargo Airline Association, National Air Carrier Association (NACA), Airports Council International, North America (ACI-NA), Regional Airline Association (RAA), Pratt and Whitney, Boeing, and Naverus with input and participation from the FAA.

“Pilots have to take an active interest in the recent focus on man’s contribution to changes in the environment,” said Captain Mary McMillan, Chairman of ALPA’s President’s Task Force on Aviation Sustainability and the Environment. “Part of that debate has specifically concentrated on the effect that the growing aviation industry may have upon current and future climate issues.”

McMillan also served as an organizer and emcee for the panels.

The purpose of the primer is three-fold:

ALPA President Capt. Prater participated on the first panel, which focused on the “Environment Challenge.”

“The airlines are facing the possibility of additional fuel taxes and other financial penalties over emissions,” Prater said. “ALPA has a strong incentive to help our airline employers ensure that such unilateral actions don’t become the undoing of our industry or put our airlines at an economic disadvantage.”

Capt. Terry McVenes, the ALPA Executive Air Safety Chairman, appeared on a panel which dealt with “Managing Environmental Interrelationships and Tradeoffs.” The panel focused on the effect of noise and emissions, as well as means to enhance environmental decision making.

The second day of the event will feature several other ALPA speakers, including Capt. Paul Rice, first vice-president, Capt. Chris Beebe, vice-president finance, and Capt. Brian Townsend, ALPA NASMOD committee chairman.