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News from ALPA International

January 12, 2012

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

Another Example of a U.S. Airline Suffering as a Result of Ex-Im Financing
American Airlines announced that it will discontinue service to India and lay off 150 workers to cut costs. The routes will be flown by its oneworld partners, including Air India. Simultaneously, Air India’s lenders recently rejected its restructuring plan. According to media reports, Air India’s lenders rejected the plan. Air India has not been profitable for several years.

Nevertheless, Air India continues to operate using aircraft that have U.S. Export-Import Bank financing, putting U.S. carriers at a competitive disadvantage—one that could seriously harm the U.S. airline industry and risk U.S. airline jobs.

In November, ALPA filed a lawsuit against the Bank claiming that the Bank had violated its authorizing statute by failing to consider the potential adverse effects of its Air India aircraft financing on U.S. airlines and their employees. Delta Air Lines has claimed that its 2009 exit from the U.S.-India market was caused by the Bank’s financing of aircraft for Air India.

To read more about ALPA's effort to block the Export-Import Bank’s financing of aircraft for Air India, go to: Take action now! Help ALPA educate Capitol Hill on the dangers of Ex-Im financing to foreign competitors and the potential for negative impacts of these financing deals for U.S. pilots—back ALPA-PAC now:

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Hatch Joins Delta Pilots for Town Hall Meeting

On January 9, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined DAL Council 81 pilots for a legislative town hall at SLC to discuss issues of importance to pilots. ALPA Government Affairs helped to organize the town hall meeting.

Hatch spoke of his legislative work on promoting trade to create jobs in the aviation industry, including both passenger and cargo operations, and his work to lower fuel costs, which would benefit the airline industry. The senator expressed concern over the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme and was very interested in ALPA’s ongoing fight to level the playing field for American pilots in the international workplace, including ALPA’s work to ensure the Export-Import Bank is not financing aircraft to foreign competitors, thereby putting U.S. carriers and pilots at a competitive disadvantage.

ALPA pilots thanked Hatch for his work to protect the IRS 415c limits for defined contribution plans, which for the vast majority of ALPA pilots and most Americans are now their only employer-sponsored retirement plans. The senator has likened proposals to lower 415c limits to “trying to cure a headache with a guillotine.” The work to set up a pilot town hall with Hatch is part of ALPA Government Affairs’ ongoing effort to enhance ALPA’s outreach to pro-pilot members of Congress.

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ALPA Meets with FAA, Industry to Address Runway Incursions
On Wednesday, January 11, F/O Steve Jangelis (DAL), chairman of ALPA’s Airport and Ground Environment Group, along with Engineering & Air Safety Department staff, attended the FAA Office of Runway Safety’s 14th quarterly Runway Safety Council (RSC) meeting. The RSC provides a forum for various FAA offices (e.g., Air Traffic and Airport Safety and Standards) and industry leadership to develop mitigations and focus implementation on integrated, data-driven strategies to reduce the number and severity of runway incursions (RIs).

The meeting was hosted by former Air Wisconsin pilot Patrick Doyle, who was recently named the FAA’s director of runway safety. Topics discussed during the meeting included: RI metrics, implementation of new ATC procedures when airport construction reduces the available runway, recent recommendations from the RSC’s Root Cause Analysis Team (RCAT), a review of recent severe RIs, and a new FAA effort to examine the effectiveness and applicability of “Approach Hold Lines” on taxiways.

Separately, ALPA representatives recently met FAA and MITRE Corporation researchers to discuss the potential for developing low-cost runway status-light systems for medium and small airports. The group reviewed a variety of possible technologies that could be used to help pilots avoid RIs; the most promising of those technologies will be prioritized for further development.

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We Want to Hear from You!
To better connect with you in the New Year, the ALPA Communications team wants your feedback on social media and how ALPA can better utilize these tools.

Please complete a brief eight-question survey that will help us build our network to keep you better informed.


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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 the dangers of cockpit laser illuminations on page 34 of the December issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the 11th installment of the FlightDeck, learn about the Canada Board and its role within ALPA.

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
• According to MarketWatch, the United Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants–CWA, have successfully reached a tentative agreement with management. Read more.

USA Today reports that more people are being caught at the nation’s airports with guns in their carry-on bags, despite heightened awareness about security. Read more

• Australia’s Herald Sun says airlines are paying more for fuel because waistlines are expanding. Read more.

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On January 10, 1962, a B-52 Stratofortress set a new distance record of 12,532 miles on a flight from Okinawa to Madrid.

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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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