March 7, 2008
ALPA Named Among Collier Trophy Winners
Pilots union recognized for efforts to advance aviation safety
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, (ALPA) was recognized this week with the prestigious Collier Trophy for the union’s role in developing a new aircraft position technology that will advance aviation safety. The technology, known as ADS-B, allows aircraft to continuously broadcast their own GPS-determined position, rather than relying solely on today’s network of ground-based radar, and enhances safety and increases airspace capacity and efficiency as a result.
“ALPA is extremely honored to be among this year’s Collier award recipients,” said Capt. Brian Townsend (US Airways, formerly America West), chairman of ALPA’s National Airspace Modernization (NASMOD) Committee. “Airline pilots know that the need to modernize the U.S. airspace could not be more urgent and that this technology forms the foundation of those modernization efforts.”
Established in 1911, the Collier Trophy is a national award honoring those who have made significant achievements in advancing aviation. For more than 12 years, ALPA has worked with a coalition of private- and public-sector organizations, all of which received the award for their part in the coalition effort. This is the second time that ALPA has received the Collier trophy. The first award was given in 1995 for the Association’s work on the Boeing 777 aircraft design.
If the potential of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, is fully realized, airliners will be equipped to both send and receive important position data.
When this new technology is fully applied, it will ultimately improve situational awareness in the air and on the ground for both pilots and air traffic controllers. Flight data, such as departure time of a flight from the gate and the estimated time when a flight will touch down, could eventually be used by the airport, air traffic control, and airline managers to more effectively manage surface traffic. As a result, airlines, pilots, and the traveling public could benefit from reduced fuel usage, shortened taxi time, improved gate management, and more-efficient flight departures.
“ADS-B is a winning proposition for the entire aviation industry,” said F/O Bill Riley (US Airways), team leader for ALPA’s ADS-B project. “We hope that the visibility this important award creates will spur the FAA, airlines, and others to put ADS-B in place swiftly and enable the flying public to reap its benefits.”
“I congratulate Capt. Townsend and F/O Riley for their outstanding leadership on the new ADS-B technology and commend their entire team for positioning ALPA to win this important award,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union representing more than 61,000 pilots at 43 airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
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