Release #: 19.35
September 24, 2019

ALPA Urges Modernization to Air Traffic Control System

Additional Investments Are Critically Needed to Expand National Air Space

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, testified today before the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Aviation and Space regarding the need for continued modernization of the national airspace system.

“Our national airspace system is vital to success of the U.S. economy and transportation sector. Every year we safely transport nearly one billion passengers and thousands of tons of cargo. NextGen is an evolutionary series of changes in technology and procedures that improves safety and efficiency,” testified ALPA president Capt. Joe DePete.

As the United States works to meet growing passenger and freight transportation demands, as well as integrate new users such as commercial spaceflight and remotely piloted vehicles, continuous improvements are needed to ensure that the U.S. remains the safest, most efficient system in the world. ALPA also emphasized the need to secure stable, consistent funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to avoid any detrimental effects caused by future government shutdowns.

“The FAA cannot afford to experience another shutdown like we experienced earlier this year. In addition to the stress and human costs imposed on the dedicated air traffic controller staff and other critical workers, the shutdown had an impact far beyond just the one month when it was occurring. Government shutdowns must be avoided as they are not good governance and, in the aviation sector, introduce unacceptable risks to our transportation system,” added DePete.

As a key aviation stakeholder, ALPA has been a strong supporter of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System and for more than a decade has collaborated with the regulator, airlines, and other stakeholders to ensure that this modernization work is performed to the highest standards and incorporates frontline pilots’ perspectives.  

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 63,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or