Release #08.041L
August 14, 2008

Capt. Ellis Nelson Receives ALPA’s Presidential Citation
Cary, N.C., pilot recognized for bold leadership in enhancing aviation security

WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize retired United Airlines Capt. Ellis Nelson with its 2007 Presidential Citation for his outstanding and enduring efforts to advance aviation security. The award will be presented today at ALPA’s 54th Annual Air Safety & Security Week Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.

Recently retired from United Airlines, Capt. Nelson has worked tirelessly throughout his career to create a more secure air transportation system in the United States so that passengers, crews, and cargo would be better protected against terrorist threats.

“Through decades of dedication, Capt. Nelson created a foundation of excellence for aviation security in this country that continues today,” said Capt. Bob Hesselbein, chairman of ALPA’s National Security Committee. “His work set the stage for innovation and collaboration as our industry continues to meet the challenge of securing our skies.”

During his tenure as both vice-chairman and a voting member of ALPA’s National Security Committee, Capt. Nelson made remarkable contributions to many of the industry’s most critical security initiatives, including work to advance the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program, give airline employees more efficient access to secure areas of airports, bring cargo airline security on a par with passenger airlines, and protect the nation’s air transportation system against chemical-biological threats.

“We all are indebted to Capt. Nelson’s years of service in the safety arena,” said MEC Chairman Capt. Steve Wallach. “Capt. Nelson certainly left his mark during his work with ALPA, and he helped lay a solid safety foundation for the generation of pilots who followed him.”

Capt. Nelson also represented ALPA’s 55,000 pilots as a member of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) Security Committee, where he was a well-respected advocate of the interests of North American pilots in the international aviation arena.

“I speak for all of ALPA’s members when I commend Capt. Nelson for his extraordinary dedication and service to all of those who depend on a secure air transportation system,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president.

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