Our History

The beginnings of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) started with United pilots in 1931. United Captain Dave Behncke was ALPA’s first president, serving from 1931 until 1951. Under his administration, ALPA became a major presence in Washington, D.C., using its influence to secure legislation that made the airline piloting profession more stable and promoted safety in the industry.

Throughout the years, United pilots put on display ALPA’s “Schedule with Safety” motto. Always at the forefront of airline safety and security, United pilots have been trailblazers in ensuring safer skies for our passengers and a safer work environment not just for pilots but for all airline employees.

Today, the United MEC continues Captain Behncke’s legacy of involvement on Capitol Hill, promoting legislation that benefits the profession, advances airline safety, and enhances security.