ALPA 44th BOD Meeting Convenes: “Everything Matters”

October 15, 2012—Members of the ALPA Board of Directors convened this morning for the 44th Biennial Meeting in Hollywood, Florida. The theme of this year’s event is “Everything Matters.”

During this morning’s remarks, ALPA national officers spoke about the Association’s unwavering determination to prevail, despite the volatility of their industry, and noted the importance of evolving as a union and a profession to remain viable.

“If we don’t engage now, we run the risk of losing our careers and ultimately our industry,” said ALPA President Capt. Lee Moak. “As we look to the horizon, I want you to focus on what could be—on how we can and should leave the industry for the next generation. Keep in mind that the world of aviation as we know it is changing, and we need to adapt.”

Moak also gave a sobering reminder to the board about the importance of realizing that “Everything Matters” when it comes to the aviation industry:

“Our industry is not without challenges and, while we need to think about tomorrow, next month, and next year, it’s also critical that we never lose sight of how each move we make can impact our profession in the years to come.”

Moak stressed that one of the most urgent challenges ahead is the fight to level the playing field and end the unfair competitive advantage of foreign support structures. “We need our governments to make our industry a priority. And that priority should include protecting our laws prohibiting foreign ownership and control,” he said.

ALPA First Vice President Capt. Sean Cassidy also spoke about the need to adapt as a profession and an industry, saying, “You can’t use yesterday’s tools and techniques to address today’s emerging challenges, and be successful tomorrow. The only way for our union to achieve success is to keep up with our constantly evolving industry.”

Cassidy also celebrated ALPA’s role—as the largest nongovernmental safety agency in the world—in promoting aviation as the most secure mode of transportation. He highlighted several of the Association’s recent safety and security accomplishments, including new U.S. flight/duty regulations, which are effective in early 2014; Known Crewmember’s (KCM) availability in 26 airports; and the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010, which requires first officers in airline operations to hold an ATP after August 1, 2013.

On a different note of change, ALPA Vice President–Administration/Secretary Captain William Couette updated members on a positive one that he has seen—the decline in the number of ALPA furloughed pilots, which has fallen to 1,900 this year from 4,700 in 2006.

Couette also reminded members of the important business they will tackle at this year’s meeting to help the Association advance the needs of the piloting profession. “We are here this week to work for our families, for ourselves, and our furloughed brothers and sisters,” said Couette. “It’s a team effort. If we all pull together, we can accomplish great things.”

ALPA Vice President–Finance/Treasurer Randy Helling addressed members on other ways the Association can effect positive change in in the piloting profession. He said the key to fulfilling this responsibility is a solid financial framework, a sound fiscal policy, and a budgetary plan focused on strategic priorities.

“Today, I am pleased to report that our union has achieved greater financial stability in our operations, and we continue to improve,” said Helling. “As a result, our Association is in a much better position financially to face future challenges and continue to dedicate the vital resources and unwavering support that our members depend on.”

Captain Moak closed this morning’s remarks by recognizing the pilots of ASTAR Air Cargo and Comair, which were both shut down this year. He celebrated the pilots of both airlines for their efforts to save their struggling airlines and for their many contributions to the union and profession.

“For both of these pilot groups, we’ve made available many job-finding resources to help find employment including work with airlines to secure preferential hiring,” said Captain Moak. “Our goal is to soon welcome each and every ASTAR and Comair pilot back into our cockpits.”

Watch Capt. Moak’s report to the BOD.

Watch “The Future of Aviation.”

Stay tuned for more.