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News from ALPA International

November 10, 2011

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

Alaska Pilots Fly Biofuel-Powered Flights
On Wednesday, two Alaska Airlines flights launched what will be a three-week program to operate commercial flights using biofuel. The Alaska Airlines B-737 and a Horizon Q400 departed within minutes of one another, bound from Seattle to Washington, D.C., and Portland, Ore., respectively, using a blend of biofuel made from used cooking oil and traditional jet fuel. Over the next few weeks, the Alaska Air Group will fly a total of 75 flights powered by biofuel.

Biofuels, which are made using renewable resources, reduce fossil fuel consumption, increase efficiency, and cut greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining high safety standards, all of which are important for the future of aviation.

“Hopefully what happened this week will demonstrate that there is a real interest and demand for biofuel,” said F/O Paul Stuart, Alaska MEC chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. “Alaska Airlines has a proud history of innovation and pioneering new technologies. It is exciting, but not surprising to me, that we are at the forefront of a technology that will not only reduce our industry’s carbon footprint, but will make aviation more sustainable into the future.”

Read more.

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Pilots: Canadian SMS Proven Aviation Safety Tool
ALPA issued a statement today noting that Safety Management Systems (SMS) continue to be a valuable tool to enhance safety in aviation and other transportation industries in Canada.

“SMS programs ensure continuing safety by combining the appropriate levels of incentive for front-line employee reporting, internal auditing and regulatory oversight,” said Capt. Dan Adamus, president of ALPA’s Canada Board. “Canada is a world leader in adopting SMS programs in its marine, rail, and aviation industries, and ALPA is proud to be part of that effort.”

“ALPA has collaborated with Transport Canada, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, and our government and industry partners internationally to explore the most modern, effective ways of doing business,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president. “We will continue these partnerships at every opportunity to do all we can to move aviation safety programs forward.”

Read more.

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ALPA Reps Gather for R&I Seminar

View a photo slideshow of the Seminar.

Thirty-two pilot reps from 16 ALPA pilot groups joined ALPA staff members in the union’s Herndon (Virginia) Conference Center yesterday and today for the two-day ALPA Retirement and Insurance (R&I) Seminar. The seminar trains and updates ALPA pilot MEC R&I Committee members.

Capt. Kevin Powell, Delta MEC R&I chairman, a veteran of past seminars, exclaimed, “This is the best R&I seminar I’ve ever attended.”

One measure of the seminar’s relevance: Yesterday, noted financial journalist and author William D. Cohan, talking about the effect of capital markets on retirement investments, dished about a couple of recycled Wall Street insiders who, despite having failed previously with investors’ money, are back at it again. Today, they were the subject of a Wall Street Journal article.

Read more.

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Honoring Those Who Serve
On November 11, we remember the brave men and women who have defended, and those who continue to defend, the United States and Canada as members of the armed forces. Veterans Day and Remembrance Day were both established to mark the official end of World War I, optimistically characterized as the “the war to end all wars.” The fighting formally ceased “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” in 1918, with the signing of the armistice between the warring nations.

These important holidays are currently celebrated to recognize and honor those, living and dead, who have served in peacetime and during war, to protect our great countries and the freedoms we enjoy. Many ALPA members are currently on military leave, deployed at locations around the globe.

Whether you have the day off or are flying the line, please take a moment to remember the sacrifices these brave individuals make for their countries, and, if you are or were a member of the U.S. or Canadian military, thanks from your Association and a grateful nation.

Incidentally, today—November 10—is the 236th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps. Since the Continental Congress created two battalions of marines 236 years ago, these warriors have served our nation during many of its most defining moments. ALPA’s president and many of the Association’s other members serve, or have served, in this important branch of the U.S. military, and we just want to say, “Happy Birthday!”

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Take the Known Crewmember Survey

Have you gone through airport security using the Known Crewmember (KCM) access points? Tell us about it! Please go to to provide us with comments about your KCM experience.

The Known Crewmember program, which is jointly sponsored by ALPA and the Air Transport Association, is now operational at ORD, MIA, SEA, PHX, MSP, IAD, and BOS. The system is working well at each location, clearing more than 2,400 pilots, who fly for 28 participant airlines, each day.

Since the program began on Aug. 9, pilots have used KCM entry points more than 109,000 times. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is analyzing performance metrics associated with this program and will render a decision about nationwide expansion no later than January 2012. For ongoing KCM updates, please visit

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What Are Your Kids Doing Next Summer?
The International Youth Exchange’s 2012 Airline Youth Exchange Program is now accepting applications. IYE matches youth ages 14 to 19 with a correspondent of similar age from an airline family abroad. The youths spend two weeks together in your home and two weeks in the home of the match family.

While overseas, your son or daughter has the opportunity to learn about another culture from someone his or her own age. Living with a family abroad for two weeks is an extraordinary way to experience another country.

Exchanges are available to Germany, Spain, France, Italy, and Switzerland.

For additional information, please go to, or contact Camille Wheeler, IYE program coordinator, at

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Stay Connected
Stay connected with your union, your profession, and your industry by reading Air Line Pilot magazine and watching monthly episodes of The FlightDeck.

Read about winter ops and dealing with aircraft icing on page 22 of the November issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the tenth installment of The FlightDeck, learn more about ALPA’s position on the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen.

Remember that both Air Line Pilot and The FlightDeck can also be accessed from the members-only portion of the ALPA website at

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Other Industry News
The Washington Post reports that the FAA is investigating an incident on Nov. 4 in which a green laser was pointed at six regional jets near New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Read more.

• According to Bloomberg’s Businessweek, Boeing Co.’s B-777, its most profitable jet, may bring in record orders this year as airlines seek more fuel-efficient long-haul planes. Read more.

• MarketWatch says the world’s airlines have scheduled 4 percent more capacity on 2.5 percent more flights in November 2011, marking six straight months of growth compared to the same period last year. Read more.

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On Nov. 29, 1947, the ALPA Credit Union was chartered as a nonprofit organization. ALPA President Behncke became the first depositor when the credit union opened for business in February 1948. To learn more about today’s ALPA Federal Credit Union, go to


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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
1625 Massachusetts Avenue NW | Washington, DC 20036 | 703-689-2270