Release #10.003
January 28, 2010

ALPA Names 2010 Aviation Safety and Security Priorities
Aviation Security, Pilot Training, and Fatigue Top List

WASHINGTON – The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) today released its aviation safety and security priorities for 2010. Topping the list are shifting to trust-based aviation security, improving qualifications and training for pilots, and combating pilot fatigue.

“ALPA pilots’ dedication and professionalism have helped to create the foundation for an extraordinarily safe and secure mode of transportation,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “Even as our profession has been devastated by drastic cuts in salary, lost or frozen pensions, and intensifying pressure to work longer hours, ALPA members have remained resolute in holding paramount the safety of our passengers, crews, and cargo. Challenges remain, however, as we pursue ever higher safety and security standards.”

Other priority issues include properly regulating lithium battery shipments, leveraging safety reporting programs such as the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and the Flight Operations Quality Assurance program (FOQA), modernizing the North American airspace system, installing secondary cockpit barriers, securing all-cargo flight operations, and safely integrating unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace.

“ALPA remains committed to, and indeed heavily involved in, efforts to safely improve the capacity and efficiency of the National Airspace System,” said Capt. Rory Kay, ALPA’s Executive Air Safety Chairman. “We are also dedicated to ensuring that valuable voluntary safety reporting systems such as the ASAP and FOQA programs continue to flourish and that efforts to integrate unmanned aerial systems into our skies are made without impacting the safety of the NAS.”

ALPA also called for a shift to a trust-based aviation security system that focuses on intent, rather than on objects. The union calls for a system that establishes the trustworthiness of each passenger through a combination of publicly available information, human interaction, and behavior-pattern recognition. ALPA framed its proposal in a recently released white paper titled Meeting Today’s Aviation Security Needs: A Call to Action for a Trust Based Security System.

“Our layered aviation security system is in dire need of major reform,” said Capt. Robb Powers, ALPA’s National Security Committee Chairman. “Our proposal focuses on identifying people who pose no threat to aviation and quickly moving them through a screening process that is commensurate with the level of trust they have earned. This approach to aviation security is more sophisticated, more efficient, and significantly more effective than the current methodology.”

The Association also called for rapid modernization of flight-time, duty-time, and rest regulations in the United States and Canada for airline pilots so that the rules are based on science and apply equally to all operations, including domestic, international, and supplemental flying. ALPA pilots participated in the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which completed its work in September 2009.

“We had hoped that the new proposed regulation would be out at the end of 2009. It is important for the remainder of the administrative steps for rulemaking to be completed, but that needs to happen in a timely manner so that we have a final rule in place by the end of 2010,” said Capt. Don Wykoff, ALPA’s Flight Time/Duty Time Committee Chairman. “The members of the Aviation Rulemaking Committee completed their work in a compressed time line, and it’s our expectation that the regulators would do the same.”

ALPA issued its safety and security priorities at a news media briefing held today in Washington, D.C. A full media kit is available online at

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada.


Contact: Linda Shotwell, 703/481-4440 or