Release #08.041I
August 14, 2008

Capt. Terry McVenes Receives ALPA’s Top Safety Honor
Boulder, Colo., pilot hailed as innovative leader in aviation safety

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize Capt. Terry McVenes with its 2007 annual Air Safety Award for his unrivaled leadership in making the airline industry ever safer. The award, which is the Association’s highest safety honor, will be presented to Capt. McVenes today at ALPA’s 54th Annual Air Safety & Security Forum Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.

“Capt. McVenes forged crucial new alliances for the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, and developed effective consensus solutions to some of the most pressing safety challenges of our time,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “He capitalized on these alliances to aggressively promote the union’s safety priorities and deliver results for pilots flying the line, even in difficult economic times.”

While serving as ALPA’s Executive Air Safety Chairman, Capt. McVenes represented ALPA pilots in myriad venues to advocate for a higher level of aviation safety—testifying before Congress, advancing pilots’ perspectives in policy debates with industry stakeholders, interviewing with the news media, and speaking at high-level conferences around the globe. His purview included overseeing the work of more than 300 safety representatives representing 40 airlines in the United States and Canada. He also held budgetary and management responsibility for more than 200 projects.

“Capt. McVenes was an instrumental force for ending the ‘tombstone’ mentality of waiting for airline accidents to happen before making safety improvements,” said Capt. Rory Kay, ALPA’s executive air safety chairman. “He pressed to modernize our approach to airline safety and pushed for the creation of robust safety reporting programs and just cultures that are the key to proactively finding safety risks before accidents happen.”

Prior to his appointment as Executive Air Safety Chairman, Capt. McVenes served as Executive Air Safety Vice-Chairman and chairman of the Central Air Safety Committee for US Airways pilots.

Capt. McVenes began his airline career in 1978 with Rocky Mountain Airways in Denver, Colo., flying the DHC-6 (Twin Otter) and DHC-7 (Dash 7) aircraft. He was hired by Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) in March 1985, which later merged with US Airways. He is rated on the DHC-7, BAe-146, Fokker-28, DC-9, MD-80, A320, and B-737. He currently is a captain on the Airbus A320 for US Airways and has more than 17,000 hours of flying time.

Prior to working for the airlines, Capt. McVenes was employed as an engineer for the Boeing Company in Seattle, Wash. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado and a Certificate of Aviation Safety Management from the University of Southern California.

Originally from Marshall, Minn., Capt. McVenes is the son of Mary and the late Robert McVenes and a 1973 graduate of Marshall High School. He currently resides outside of Boulder, Colo., with his wife, Deborah, and his sons, Michael and Benjamin.

“Capt. McVenes’s work has left an indelible mark on our industry and his legacy of taking a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to enhancing aviation safety will echo for generations,” said Capt. Prater. “While it is impossible to measure the number of accidents that have been prevented by his progressive thinking, the passengers, crews, and cargo shippers who rely on safe air transportation owe Capt. McVenes a debt of deep gratitude for his profound contribution to our industry’s unmatched safety record.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at for more information.

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CONTACT: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, (703) 481-4440