Leadership Training Conference Continues with Advocacy Updates

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slideshow from days 2 and 3 of the conference.

February 24, 2010 - Training continued for ALPA’s newest leaders with a variety of nuts-and-bolts presentations that covered everything from how to effectively communicate and represent their pilots to updates from the union’s Legal Department and airline pilots’ top advocacy issues on Capitol Hill and Parliament.

“The FAA Reauthorization bill has been extended in Congress 10 times,” said Capt. Prater, ALPA president. “There are safety enhancements in this bill important not only for our members, but also for the traveling public. We need Congress to act now.” Prater also updated pilot leaders on the flight- and duty-time (FTDT) rulemaking process at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), saying that ALPA was exploring ways that Congress can lend its support in accomplishing a rule this year.

“The flight- and duty-time regulation update is certainly one area that we pilots north of the border looked at the U.S. with envy,” said Capt. Dan Adamus, president of the ALPA Canada Board. “Capt. Don Wykoff, ALPA’s FTDT Committee chair, came up to Ottawa and briefed Transport Canada on the FAA’s FTDT Aviation Rulemaking Committee. We joined forces with other pilot groups in Canada to meet with Transport Canada and say that we want our rules reviewed and we want sound data to be applied.”

Capt. Paul Rice, first vice president of the Association, presented information on another hot topic—the Railway Labor Act. Rice, who chairs ALPA’s RLA Study Group, explained that the present National Mediation Board has established the Dunlop II Committee to examine the internal functions, policies, and procedures of the NMB and the recommendations of the Dunlop Commission of the 1990s.

“We’re looking for the Committee’s report in the near future, but it will more likely be administrative items,” Rice said. “We’re also looking at legislative reforms. We have to look at where the changes fit in and weigh the risks and rewards, because the risk of opening the agreement needs to be outweighed by the rewards.”

The attendees will have an open-ended conversation with the union’s national officers at dinner on Wednesday, where the new leaders can get all of their questions answered. The conference will wrap up on Thursday, with a presentation from Phil Comstock, president of the Wilson Center for Public Research.

Click here for coverage from day 1 of the conference.