Release #08.041K
August 14, 2008

United Airlines Capt. Mary McMillan Receives ALPA’s Presidential Citation Award
Alexandria, Va., resident recognized for sustainable aviation advocacy

WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize United Airlines Capt. Mary McMillan with a 2007 Presidential Citation Award, the Association’s honor for outstanding work in aviation safety, for her activism to construct a framework for the sustainability of aviation in the environmental sector. This award will be presented today at ALPA’s 54th Annual Air Safety & Security Forum and Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.

“Capt. McMillan brought the pilots’ perspective into aviation fuel emission mitigations and future air traffic management plans designed to lessen the airline industry’s carbon footprint,” said ALPA President, Capt. John Prater. “She put countless hours into framing the context of the global warming debate in the North American and international aviation community, and for that, she has earned our respect and recognition.”

In January 2008, Capt. Prater created the Presidential Task Force on Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, appointing Capt. McMillan as the chairperson. He charged the Task Force with collecting information on aviation and the environment, and Capt. McMillan wasted no time in developing the necessary contacts to help her establish an ALPA presence within the environmental realm of the aviation community and academia.

Launching ALPA into the debate, Capt. McMillan played an instrumental role in organizing an Aviation and the Environment: A Primer for North American Stakeholders forum in March 2008, where the FAA, the Air Transport Association, the Cargo Airline Association, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and others joined ALPA in reviewing the nation’s environmental policy options, designed to curtail and reduce overall airline noise and emissions.

“Capt. McMillan has earned her place as one of the most respected airline safety advocates in our profession,” said Capt. Steve Wallach, United’s master executive council chairman. “The entire airline industry has benefited from her work. All pilots are indebted to Capt. McMillan’s devotion and work toward finding solutions to safety challenges in our industry.”

She also convened a panel of industry experts for “Going Green: Aviation Safety Implications,” a presentation delivered at the 2007 Air Safety and Security Forum. These experts sketched out the science and policy context of global climate change as well as its potential implications for aviation safety, informing ALPA members and interested stakeholders on several aspects of aviation and environmental issues.

Under her leadership, ALPA safety committees became more involved with designing and testing new environmentally-friendly engines and airframe components, as well as surface optimization schemes at several U.S. airports. ALPA, through participating with the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative, has always ensured that the technological and operational challenges presented by emissions and noise reductions are being safely met through the Association’s participation in designing and implementing NextGen, fuel-saving procedures, and constant descent arrivals (now known as optimized descent profiles).

Capt. McMillan represented both ALPA and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) on the International Air Transport Action Group, marking the first time a pilot had been invited to participate in this group. She was also ALPA/IFALPA’s representative at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) last General Assembly for Environmental Matters.

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

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