ALPA's Updated Code of Ethics

The Landing


At ALPA’s October 2020 Board of Directors meeting, the union’s highest governing body approved a revision to the Code of Ethics and Canons first established in 1956. The updates were made at the recommendation of the President’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion and the Professional Standards Committee to “create and foster an environment of inclusiveness through equity and equality so that the diversity of our members can be harnessed to collectively enhance our union and profession.”

Of note, the updated language reflects gender-neutral and inclusive terms and also an expansion of the code to reemphasize how the character and conduct of one individual can reflect honor or dishonor upon the entire profession.

“The expansion of the Code of Ethics highlights that our union embraces all who wish to pursue the airline piloting profession. It also supports our efforts to create an inclusive environment for all ALPA pilots now and those interested in joining our ranks,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA’s president. “Since I formed the PCDI in 2019, our union has come a long way in instilling a shared mental model of diversity and inclusion for our organization and profession.”

The following is an excerpted version of ALPA’s Code of Ethics. View the accompanying canons.

An Air Line Pilot will keep uppermost in their mind that the safety, comfort, and well-being of the passengers who entrust their lives to them are the pilot’s first and greatest responsibility.

An Air Line Pilot will faithfully discharge the duty they owe the airline which employs them and whose salary makes possible their way of life.

An Air Line Pilot will accept the responsibilities as well as the rewards of command, and will at all times so conduct themselves both on duty and off as to instill and merit the confidence and respect of their crew, their fellow employees, and their associates within the profession.

An Air Line Pilot will conduct their affairs with other members of the profession and with ALPA in such a manner as to bring credit to the profession and ALPA as well as to themselves.

To an Air Line Pilot the honor of their profession is dear, and they will remember that their own character and conduct reflect honor or dishonor upon the profession.

Having endeavored to their utmost to faithfully fulfill the obligations of the ALPA Code of Ethics and Canons for the Guidance of Air Line Pilots, a pilot may consider themselves worthy to be called . . . an Air Line Pilot.

This article was originally published in the December 2021 issue of Air Line Pilot.

Read the latest Air Line Pilot (PDF)