Release #09.082
November 18, 2009

ALPA to Congress: Don’t Reinvent Airline Safety Bill
Enhancing Passenger Safety Calls for Passing Existing Legislation Without Delay

WASHINGTON – Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement today, which is also posted as a video message on, urging swift passage of the FAA reauthorization bill to modernize the national airspace system and ensure that airline pilots are well-trained and well-rested.

“Every day, passengers and shippers take advantage of nearly 70,000 flights operated safely over North America. Proud ALPA members operate around 70 percent of those flights, and we’ve rightly earned your trust, as we’ve flawlessly delivered you and your loved ones, and tons of cargo, safe and sound to destinations around the world.

Click on the image to watch the video.

“Professional airline pilots make those trouble-free flights possible, and we take great pride in our work. In fact, our members live up to this Association’s Code of Ethics, the highest standard of professional behavior, responsibility, and conduct, every day, on every flight.

“Today, we’re asking Congress to stay keenly focused on the overall goal to improve safety throughout the airline industry. Drafting legislation that simply reacts to events already under investigation by the federal government will not advance improvements in the National Airspace System; it will simply distract from the fundamental task of improving safety.

“There is, however, legislation already under consideration that would promote airline safety. This union has worked side by side with the members of Congress to draft the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009, H.R. 3371, which helps to ensure that the traveling public has a well-trained, well-rested pilot at the controls of your flight.

“The FAA Reauthorization Bill also is intended to improve safety by providing updated regulations and much-needed technological upgrades that would usher the U.S. air transportation industry into a new era. Modernization promises not only to advance safety, but also to increase capacity, reduce delays, and cut emissions.

“When the government completes its investigation—following the established and methodical processes, which ALPA fully supports—and all the facts are in, we will take all necessary steps to correct any deficiency.

“Until then, this union strongly urges Congress to work toward what we know is true: the U.S. air transportation system is in desperate need of attention and needs stable funding to prepare it for the future. We already have bills that strive to achieve these essential improvements, and we need every entity in the entire aviation system to stay focused on the task at hand.

“ALPA stands ready to improve the system that our pilots work in every day. We want nothing more than the safest and most secure environment for our passengers and cargo. The very existence of this union was built on that foundation, and your proud and professional pilots embody it today.”

Click here to watch the entire message.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.

# # #

Contact: ALPA Media Relations, 703/481-4440 or