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News from ALPA International

March 13, 2012

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

Congress Must Act to Ensure U.S. Ex–Im Bank Fosters U.S. Economy, Jobs

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, yesterday called on the U.S. Senate to take swift action to ensure that the Export–Import Bank of the United States fulfills its legal responsibility to protect U.S. jobs when it finances foreign airlines’ aircraft.

“Aircraft financing already represents more than 40 percent of all financing granted by the Export–Import Bank of the United States,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president. “Ex–Im Bank financing for wide-body aircraft is expected to grow rapidly in the near future, and the threat posed to the U.S. airline industry and its workers by the Bank’s using U.S. taxpayers’ money to support our nation’s competitors is very real.”

In a letter sent to U.S. senators today, ALPA asked legislators to direct the Obama administration to negotiate with the five European countries whose export credit agencies support Airbus aircraft sales with the goal of eliminating export credit agency financing of wide-body aircraft. This would eliminate credit agency financing of both Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and allow all airline purchasers to compete for financing on a level playing field.

Read more.

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FAA Medical Certification Form Goes Paperless
On March 8, the FAA announced that as of Oct. 1, 2012, it would discontinue use of the paper version of Form 8500-8, the application for FAA medical certification of airmen. In 2007, the FAA launched an on-line Form 8500-8, known as “FAA MedXpress.” Since then it has evolved considerably, streamlining FAA medical certification into a much more efficient and seamless process. The paper form has become redundant and obsolete as a result.

Prior to a medical examination for a flight physical, an applicant will fill out Form 8500-8 online, and the aviation medical examiner (AME) will access the completed and securely stored form and use it to complete the medical examination and record the results. Using digitized data, rather than a handwritten form, reduces the risk of errors made by applicants, AME staff, and AMEs in processing the examination.

Individuals who may not be familiar with “FAA MedXpress” may access it at the FAA public website. If you have any specific questions regarding the use of “FAA MedXpress,” contact the ALPA Aeromedical Office directly at (303) 341-4435 weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mountain Time.

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ALPA Secretary-Treasurers Gather
Two dozen pilots elected to serve as ALPA’s financial gatekeepers convened today for the Association’s annual Secretary-Treasurers Conference to discuss financial stewardship and accountability.

“We’re responsible for minding the pilots’ money,” said ALPA vice president–finance Capt. Randy Helling, who added, “not only minding the pilots’ money but maintaining their trust, the trust that their money is being spent wisely on their behalf.”

Helling, who welcomed the secretary-treasurers and reviewed the meeting’s agenda, talked about the importance of the job and the need to perform fiscal duties consistently and with transparency. He also emphasized the importance of “helping your pilot volunteers find a way to achieve their goals within the established policies and procedures of the Association.”

Read more.

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ASA MEC Elects Officers for Upcoming Two-Year Term
On March 8, the ASA MEC met to interview candidates and elect the next slate of MEC officers. With terms beginning May 12, these officers will serve two years and help guide the pilot group through its ongoing merger with ExpressJet. Capt. David Nieuwenhuis and Capt. Sterling Roach were reelected as chairman and vice chairman, respectively. F/O Robert Banks was elected as the new secretary-treasurer.

“This merger presents not just challenges, but opportunities” said Nieuwenhuis. “We look forward to negotiating an industry-leading joint contract that allows for a sustainable corporate platform that will be seen as the model for the airline industry. For this to occur, our merger must result in a safe, efficient, and profitable business that shares its success with all the hardworking professional pilots of the new ExpressJet.”

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

Find out where your fellow pilots dine when they travel on page 37 of the March issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the 13th installment of The FlightDeck, get an update on potential FFDO funding cuts.

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 the PRNewswire, Alaska Airlines yesterday applied for new flights at Reagan Washington National Airport to Portland, Ore., and San Diego. Read more.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Airbus and a group of European airlines issued another warning that the European Commission faces, sparking a trade war after extending its emission trading scheme to the global industry. Read more.

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On March 4, 1976, Pan Am was the first U.S. airline charged with criminal negligence in a crash.

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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