Release #: 19.16
June 03, 2019

ALPA Names Rep. Peter DeFazio “Pilot Partisan of the Year”

Esteemed Legislator Known for Championing Airline Safety and Pilot Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) named U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) with its top legislative honor, Pilot Partisan of the Year. The award was presented today during ALPA’s seventh annual Government Affairs Legislative Summit.

 As chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. DeFazio has spent much of his political career advocating on behalf of aviation workers. Last year, DeFazio was a leader in the House in passing the long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization, which included such pilot-partisan efforts as the required installation of “secondary barriers” on all U.S. passenger aircraft—a long-overdue provision recommended following 9/11 to ensure that airline cockpits remain secure from intruders. DeFazio has also been leading the fight to ensure the safe shipment of lithium batteries and other hazardous materials by air.

“Rep. DeFazio is one of the strongest champions for pilots in Congress,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president. “He has fought against the healthcare excise tax, authored legislation to keep critical programs at the FAA and Transportation Security Administration operational during government shutdowns, and has advocated for one level of safety and security across the airline industry.”

DeFazio has used his leadership position to protect U.S. airlines and their workers by ensuring that the U.S. government enforces its “Open Skies” trade agreements with foreign countries. He pressured two administrations on the need for enforcement on these agreements with the UAE and Qatar, advocating for fair competition in the global aviation market. In addition, as a staunch opponent of the flag-of-convenience business model, he authored legislation that would prevent this dangerous precedent from coming to the United States.

“We are appreciative to Rep. DeFazio for his tireless efforts to champion the safety of pilots since 1987 when he first became a member of Congress,” said DePete. “Thank you for being a friend to all ALPA pilots.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 62,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


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