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News from ALPA International

June 9, 2011

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

ALPA Expresses Concerns about UAS to DOT
ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak has offered ALPA’s assistance to the U.S. Department of Transportation as it considers the future of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace system (NAS). In a letter to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, Moak iterated ALPA’s concerns about integrating UAS into commercial airspace before all necessary research, testing, and operational safeguards are in place.

ALPA pledged to collaborate with DOT and FAA to ensure the safety of the NAS, as some in Congress are calling for arbitrary deadlines that threaten to put untested and unregulated UAVs in the same airspace as airliners.

ALPA has initiated a Call to Action to urge Congress to oppose any deadlines for UAS integration until proper safety regulations are established. Click here to participate.

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ALPA Pilot Negotiators Train for Success
ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak welcomed negotiators to the union’s annual Negotiations Training Seminar this week. He encouraged them to look for and seize windows of opportunity to capture gains whenever those windows crack open. “We should always be prepared to take advantage of an upward economic cycle, solve problems, and sign agreements—whether we’re in Section 6 or not,” Moak said.

Moak went on to describe the full range of opportunities that we should consider, from the “big-inning” approach that Section 6 provides to the more modest “base-hit” letter-of-agreement approach that may be available midcontract. He also stressed the importance of establishing constructive relationships with company and industry participants. “The skills you’re learning here are personal skills,” he said. “Oftentimes it’s the difference between making one more phone call. Negotiations are personal.”

Guest speaker Linda Puchala, current member and soon-to-be chair of the National Mediation Board, echoed Moak’s sentiments, saying negotiators need a supreme sense of timing and to understand when favorable circumstances exist for concluding agreements. “Great negotiators are opportunistic” she said. “They’re always listening and looking for settlement opportunities, and are willing to adjust their strategy to achieve member goals.” Puchala broke down the time lines for contract negotiations and urged pilot negotiators to calculate the time value of one settlement versus another.

Bruce York, director of ALPA’s Representation Department, joined several seasoned professional negotiators on staff to lead attendees through the interactive four-day training. York emphasized strategic planning and thinking outside of the traditional Section 6 box to make gains in today’s ever-changing environment. He highlighted the multidimensional nature of negotiations and contrasted different types of bargaining.

The intensive four-day Negotiations Training Seminar is helping to inform and better prepare pilot negotiators from 13 ALPA pilot groups and Allied Pilots Association representatives, and give them chances to simulate difficult and complex bargaining situations. Look for additional coverage in the next issue of Air Line Pilot.

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ALPA Pilots to Fatigue Symposium: Rest Rule Needed Now
ALPA’s fatigue experts came in full force to a leading industry symposium this week to press for the swift issue of standardized regulations and to underscore that success in managing aviation fatigue depends on true collaboration among the regulators, the airlines, and employees.

ALPA pilots were among the panelists at a MITRE symposium titled “Aviation Fatigue: Building a Bridge between Research and Operational Needs.” The symposium attracted nearly 300 influential policy makers and researchers, and explored how best to apply current fatigue research to military and civilian flight operations.

“For nearly 80 years, ALPA has pushed to schedule with safety,” said Capt. Don Wykoff (Delta), ALPA’s Flight Time/Duty Time Committee chairman, during one of the breaks at the June 6–8 symposium held in Tysons Corner, Va. “Since 2009, ALPA has worked side by side with regulators and the airlines in the latest effort to develop modern regulations that reflect today’s flight operations and equipment. ALPA will seize every opportunity to make clear our science-based position that pilots’ bodies do not feel fatigue differently based on whether they are flying cargo or passengers and that one standardized rest regulation must apply to pilots in all airline operations.”

The MITRE sessions covered fatigue in scheduled operations as well as on-demand, military, and shift work. Panel discussions looked at the current tools that are available to measure and predict fatigue, including fatigue models and how well they can accurately predict human performance.

Read more.

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ExpressJet Pilots Elect New Officers

Pictured L to R: Capt. Sam Landry,
Capt. Chris Belcastro, and Capt. Jay Cowieson.

The ExpressJet MEC this week elected a new slate of officers to two-year terms, which will begin on September 1: Capt. Chris Belcastro as chairman, Capt. Jay Cowieson (re-elected) as vice chairman, and Capt. Sam Landry as secretary-treasurer.

“My fellow officers and I are honored to be elected to serve this pilot group during such a critical time. I am confident in our abilities to navigate the merger with Atlantic Southeast Airlines and accomplish the goals of our pilot group—a joint collective bargaining agreement that benefits all pilots and a fair and equitable seniority list integration,” said Capt. Belcastro.

“We look forward to building a premier regional airline together with a management team that respects and values its employees. However, this work starts at the bargaining table. Our pilots have made countless sacrifices over the years, and our contributions must be recognized in order for the merger to reach a successful conclusion.”

Read more.

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ALPA Joins Coalition to Save Our GPS
ALPA has been involved in industry discussions to evaluate the potential impact of a proposed nationwide cellular telephone and internet access system developed by LightSquared, a wireless network company. Results of a recent RTCA technical report, developed with ALPA input, showed potential for significant interference with GPS signals if the proposed system is implemented as intended.

A large number of industry groups have formed an advocacy group, the Coalition to Save Our GPS, to ensure that regulators and lawmakers are aware of the:

• significant impact of this system; and
• equally significant opposition to implementation without modification.

ALPA is the first pilot organization to join the coalition and has made it clear that the degraded-navigation capability that could result from this interference must be considered by the government in determining how to regulate LightSquared’s system.

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FedEx MEC Election Results In
Today, the FedEx Express MEC elected new officers to lead the pilot group—Capt. Scott Stratton, chairman; Capt. Brad Mahoney, vice chairman; and Capt. Sean McDonald, secretary-treasurer.

The new officer term begins on July 1 and runs for two years.

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Piedmont Pilots Want a Contract
Braving record heat, Piedmont pilots demonstrated at LaGuardia and Charlotte airports demanding an end to management’s stall tactics. The pilots are currently operating under a contract dating back to May 2000 and have been in negotiations for more than two years.

Despite coming to the table, management has been reluctant to respond to pilot proposals or to offer reasonable provisions. Piedmont, a wholly owned subsidiary of US Airways, flies regionally in the southeastern United States and has approximately 400 pilots.

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MITRE Corp. Seeks Airline Pilots for Studies
MITRE’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development occasionally solicits the help of pilots to assess new technology and flight deck procedures along with crew roles and responsibilities during various research simulations. The research generally involves concepts in the early stages of development. MITRE recognizes the value of active pilot perspectives to help fully develop these new concepts.

MITRE has requested ALPA assistance in publicizing a questionnaire to ensure that it has current information on available, willing pilot volunteers for such studies. Any interested ALPA pilots (including furloughees who have flown within the last 12 months) can fill out the questionnaire by clicking here.

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Pilots Needed for D.C.-Area Study
Pilots are needed for research to investigate the use of data communications between ATC and the flight deck. Sessions take place at the Fairfax, Va., campus of George Mason University and last 4–6 hours. Participating pilots need to have flown within the last two years and have experience with flight management systems. For their expenses, participants will receive a flat rate of $100, plus $25 for every hour over four hours. Sessions are being scheduled for dates in June and July. If you would like to participate or would like more information, please contact Sara Gee at This research project is funded by the FAA.

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This Week’s Press Releases/Web Coverage
United, Continental Pilots: Work Remains Before UAL/CAL Merger Considered a Success
As shareholders of United Airlines gather on June 8 for the annual United Airlines shareholders meeting, it is incumbent upon United CEO Jeff Smisek and his management team to thoroughly explain the facts regarding the progress of the United/Continental merger. Read more.

ALPA Files Representation Cards for JetBlue Pilots
On June 2, ALPA asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to schedule a vote to elect ALPA as the legal representative of JetBlue pilots. ALPA’s filing was supported by authorization cards from a strong majority of JetBlue pilots. Read more.

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Other Industry News
• Delta CEO Richard Anderson sent a letter to Delta employees this week outlining the airline’s plans to consolidate some of its Minneapolis operations and shift the work to Atlanta. According to news sources, affected employees who are willing to relocate will be offered positions. The consolidation is being implemented to help reduce costs.

• Former United CEO Glenn Tilton has been appointed chairman of JPMorgan Chase’s Midwest business, and is also a member of the bank’s executive committee. Former Pinnacle CFO Peter Hunt will become Virgin America CFO and senior vice president effective July 11.

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Cockpit laser occurrences aren’t just a U.S. phenomenon. Global Winnipeg reports 182 laser pointing incidents across Canada in 2010. Under the Aeronautics Act, offenders face up to $100,000 in fines or up to five years in jail.


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Feedback & E-mail Address Changes
Questions or comments on this FastRead? Give us your feedback at

If you have moved or changed your ISP or e-mail address, please update your ALPA records. If you don’t, you will no longer receive the ALPA FastRead and other e-mail bulletins and notices, and once your postal forwarding order expires, you’ll no longer receive the magazine and other ALPA mail. You can do it yourself by going to and logging in. Go to “My ALPA” in the menu at the top of the page, and from there, you’ll be instructed how to make the necessary changes.

If you don’t have access to the members-only section of, you can e-mail your requests by sending them to Be sure to include your member number or enough other information so that we can identify you in the membership database, and tell us what information needs to be updated.

Please note that it is not sufficient just to notify your LEC or MEC of these changes—you should register them with the ALPA Membership Department in Herndon.

Can’t remember your member number or how to log in? Need information about your ALPA insurance programs? These and other questions about ALPA services can be answered by contacting

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Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l
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