The downing of four commercial airplanes and loss of nearly 3,000 lives on September 11, 2001, was due, in part, to inadequate protection of the aircraft flight deck. Today, while we have mandated hardened cockpit doors on commercial passenger aircraft, the cockpit remains vulnerable when those doors must be open due to standard operation of an aircraft. A low-cost, permanently installed secondary barrier would solve this problem and help ensure the integrity of our security system.
The flag-of-convenience business model has decimated the U.S. maritime industry. One airline, Norwegian Air International (NAI), is now attempting to bring this model into the airline industry. NAI plans to maintain its headquarters in Norway, register its planes in Ireland, and contract its flight crews through Singapore and Thailand, all in order to undercut the U.S. labor market and lower global standards.
According to the U.S. Trade Representative, “State-owned enterprises are increasingly competing with U.S. businesses and workers . . . in some cases distorting global markets . . . and undercutting U.S. workers with subsidies.” This is especially true in the case of Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline, who have collectively received more than $50 billion from their governments since 2004 and are using that money to steal U.S. jobs.
The best and most important safety feature of any airline operation is a well-trained, highly experienced and qualified, professional pilot. Our safety regulations are based on metrics and data. The first officer minimum qualifications and other safety standards should be maintained or raised.
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)—both sometimes referred to as “drones”—are flown without a pilot on board the aircraft. UAS/RPA will eventually be integrated into the national airspace where they will interact with existing aircraft in the system. This process must be done safely, and these new aircraft must be held to the same standards that exist for all other operators.
Attracting the best and brightest to join the ranks of today’s professional airline pilots continues to be a priority ALPA initiative. Based on all indications, now is an outstanding time to choose the airline pilot profession. As of today, there is no pilot shortage in North America.
ALPA has long advocated for improved transport requirements for dangerous goods. Lithium batteries and other hazardous materials can pose a significant threat to aircraft if not properly packaged and handled. This problem is further complicated by shippers who do not declare hazardous materials in their packages.
ALPA-PAC carries the voice of ALPA Pilots to politicians in Washington D.C. and across the country. It is funded 100% by voluntary contributions from ALPA members living in the United States. All donations are used to educate decision makers in Washington, D.C., and build pilot-partisan majorities in the House and Senate. ALPA-PAC was created as a tool to help represent the concerns of ALPA Pilots to the policy makers working on these issues. It serves as a critical complement to ALPA’s lobbying efforts and greatly helps to advance pilot-partisan issues in the Capitol.
UP-PAC is dedicated to the continued development of our political awareness, and continual growth of political friends on Capitol Hill. The purpose of this Committee shall be to maximize the opportunity; for the United pilots; to achieve favorable governmental action regarding those interests, and on those issues, of special and unique importance to the United pilots through the administration of the United Pilots Political Action Committee (UP-PAC)