Release #: 18.07
February 27, 2018

ALPA to Congress: Experience Saves Lives

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In testimony today before the United States House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Aviation, Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) reiterated to Congressional leaders the importance of pilot training.

“Flying experience enables pilots to learn how to gather information through their senses about their environment and their aircraft. It cannot be simulated in training. It’s learned only from time spent at the controls.”

Joining other aviation safety officials from the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation Safety Board, and NASA, ALPA underscored that regulations passed in the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 to improve pilot training and update certificate and type-rating requirements have contributed immensely to advancing aviation safety.

“The results speak for themselves: In the 20 years prior to this Congressional action, more than 1,100 passengers lost their lives in U.S. Part 121 airline accidents. Since Congress acted, that number has been reduced to zero,” testified Capt. Canoll.

In addition to emphasizing the value of real-world piloting experience, Capt. Canoll highlighted additional efforts by ALPA to further enhance the U.S. aviation industry’s incredible safety record, such as improving the transportation of lithium batteries by air and working with Congress to fix the loophole that prevents the FAA from regulating unmanned aircraft systems used by hobbyists.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 60,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or