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News from ALPA International

January 19, 2012

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

Moak Urges Congress to Pass Long-Term FAA Funding Bill
ALPA continues to press Congress for a multiyear, properly funded bill that gives the FAA the resources it needs to update its aging infrastructure and implement NextGen initiatives. Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, yesterday wrote to members of the House of Representatives, urging these lawmakers to take action.

“We respectfully ask that you put politics and interests not relevant to the safety of our air transportation system aside, work through the issues, and make passage of a final FAA reauthorization bill your first priority as the second session of the 112th Congress begins, eliminating the need for a 23rd extension,” said Moak.

He added, “If we fail to provide stability for the FAA and continue to postpone investments in our aviation system, we will inevitably degrade the safety structures the American public relies on to safely travel by air. We must not let that happen.”

Read Moak’s January 18 letter.

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ALPA Supports President’s Initiative to Streamline Visa Process
ALPA applauds President Obama’s initiative to boost international travel to the United States by establishing an expedited, but secure, visa process for low-risk travelers.

“We support the administration’s initiative to take affirmative steps in this area that will offer tangible results for U.S. pilots and the airline industry,” said ALPA’s president, Capt. Lee Moak. “This initiative has been a priority of ours for the last few months and this is a clear illustration of how our union can help effect change.”

ALPA and its partners in the aviation industry have been encouraging the administration to eliminate inefficiencies in the U.S. visa process—specifically for travelers from China, Brazil, and India—in an effort to spur economic growth, as well as benefit U.S. pilot jobs and the airline industry.

ALPA and allies in the industry believe there is potential for passenger travel growth from China, Brazil, and India, but tourists have been deterred from traveling to the United States due to restrictive U.S. visa procedures.

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ALPA Security Leadership Meets with FAMS
ALPA’s first vice president and national safety coordinator, Capt. Sean Cassidy (ALA), and aviation security chairman, Capt. Fred Eissler (FDX), met with Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) leaders in Reston, Va., on Tuesday, January 17. ALPA representatives, FAMS Director Robert Bray, and Assistant Director for Flight Operations Brett Gunter discussed issues of mutual interest, including future goals and management of the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.

Discussions addressed concerns raised during the most recent FFDO stakeholder meeting in November 2011. The exchange resulted in the FAMS agreeing to not implement some of the FFDO program’s standard operating procedure changes that were opposed by ALPA. These discussions also included improvements supported by ALPA and commitments to revisit additional issues of concern through future meetings. Details will be made available directly to FFDOs by FAMS leadership.

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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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ALPA Presents Security Positions at Airports Conference
ALPA’s aviation security chairman, Capt. Fred Eissler (FDX), represented the Association’s security interests at the American Association of Airport Executives’ (AAAEs’) 26th annual Aviation Issues Conference January 9–12, 2012. Serving as a panelist during the conference’s aviation security session, Eissler articulated ALPA’s views on the Known Crewmember program, Threatened Airspace Management initiative, and other security matters of critical interest to ALPA pilots.

Working with Eissler were Capt. Mike Coffield (CAL) and Jim Andresakes of ALPA’s Engineering and Air Safety Department. The conference offered additional value in providing opportunities for networking with representatives of the federal government, airports, and airlines. ALPA was successful in stressing the need for and value in better communication with pilots-in-command during ongoing aviation security events and offered to provide pilot expertise during airport tabletop exercises.

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Work Connects Us All
“Work Connects Us All” is the message of a new AFL-CIO campaign, which includes television advertisements to emphasize the shared values of America’s workers.

“I teach your kid; you fix my car; he builds my city; she keeps it safe,” the ad’s narrator says. “Work is what connects us—all of us.”

Can you identify the ALPA pilot who appears in the ad?

The spot launched in Austin and Pittsburgh this week, and will appear in Portland, Ore., in the near future.

Read more.

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ECA Pilots Critique New Fatigue Rule Proposal
The United States and Canada are not the only nations revisiting the issue of pilot fatigue. New rules have also been proposed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to improve aviation safety. However, the latest EASA-drafted proposal for new EU-wide fatigue rules, issued on January 18, falls short of what the European Cockpit Association (ECA) has been lobbying for.

The latest proposal makes “a number of welcome changes,” says ECA President Nico Voorbach. “However, many critical points remain, such as the excessive working times when on standby. If not amended, a pilot could be asked to land the plane after 20–21 hours of being awake. This is not what passengers deserve! Passengers and pilots expect the EU legislator to set strong safety legislation.”

“EASA mandated three scientists to evaluate its proposal; regrettably, it seems that EASA chose to ignore most of their recommendations when these could negatively impact the airlines’ commercial interests,” explains ECA Secretary General Philip von Schöppenthau. “EASA can and must do better!”

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Protect Yourself
The Council for Disability Awareness reports that a disability is incurred once every second—and most are not freak accidents but more familiar causes such as back injury, cancer, and heart disease. We at ALPA understand the nature of your life, and the importance of your license for your livelihood. That’s why ALPA is proud to offer Loss of License/Plus coverage to our members to ensure that you remain financially secure should you ever lose your license.

The ALPA plan is an “own occupation” plan, meaning that benefits are provided for qualifying disabilities that prevent you from carrying out the duties of your own occupation, regardless of your ability to conduct the responsibilities of a nonflying job. The ALPA plan offers:

• Monthly coverage amounts up to $4,200, payable for up to 48 months.

• After 24 months of a covered disability, you can request that your Loss of License benefits be capitalized with a lump-sum payout.

• At the end of your “own occupation” period, there are optional additional benefits of 50 percent of the amount of your loss of license coverage (if disability renders you unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which your education and training have prepared you).

• “Seat Change” benefits, in the event that a disability requires you to fly in a lesser capacity.

Visit to learn more about Loss of License coverage and other great benefits that your ALPA membership can offer you today!

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Other Industry News
• The Baltimore Sun says most U.S. airlines are poised to report profitable fourth quarters, a trend set to continue in 2012 as cost-cutting and fare hikes help the industry weather rising fuel costs and global economic uncertainty that could hamper travel demand. Read more.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union has no plans to suspend the controversial inclusion of the airline industry in the bloc’s carbon-trading market, though leaders told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton they remain open to exempting U.S. carriers if they become subject to other measures that reduce emissions. Read more.

• According to MarketWatch, the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that U.S. airlines carried 61.2 million scheduled domestic and international passengers in October 2011. Read more.

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ALPA president Capt. Dave Behncke and his wife, Gladys, were official guests of President Harry Truman at his inauguration on Thursday, January 20, 1949. Just months prior, Truman’s influence had helped end the National Airlines pilots’ strike of 1948 in ALPA’s favor. From the beginning, Behncke recognized the value of lobbying politicians to support airline and labor issues.

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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