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News from ALPA International

April 3, 2012

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

ALPA Executive Board Opens with National Officer Reports

View a photo slideshow of the meeting.

ALPA’s four national officers, executive vice presidents, and MEC chairmen assembled for the Air Line Pilots Association International’s 110th regular Executive Board meeting today to conduct the business of the union and prepare for its Board of Directors meeting this October. Today’s meeting, which is being held near the Association’s Herndon, Va., offices, opened with reports from ALPA’s four senior officers.

“At the fall Executive Board, I spoke about Steve Jobs,” said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak. “Jobs’s work changed the way we live, what we can do, and how we relate to each other. That, of course, is the fundamental objective of our union.”

Moak talked about strategic imperatives for the Association, including the reality that “what the government does, counts.” He used the timely example of Kenyan Airways’ plans to purchase Boeing 787 “Dreamliners,” announced in newspapers this morning, to highlight how some foreign airlines are able to secure financing for aircraft at below-market rates. This access places ALPA members and their airlines at a distinct disadvantage. “We have to have a level playing field or, a few short years from now, we won’t be flying long-haul international,” he added.

The ALPA president also talked about the state of the union, its many strengths, and the challenges it faces. He noted that the Association is currently confronting numerous bankruptcies, mergers, and contract negotiations with the help of a professional staff that is both enthusiastic and energetic.

Read more.

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Pinnacle Pilots Respond to Pinnacle Bankruptcy Declaration

Just over one year after the Pinnacle Airlines pilots overwhelmingly ratified an industry leading contract designed to pave the way to the integration of one of the world’s largest regional carriers, Pinnacle Airlines Corp. declared bankruptcy. This week’s filing was not unexpected,” said MEC chairman Capt. Tom Wychor. “This MEC has been working to prepare for this eventuality since concessionary negotiations with the company ceased in mid-February.”

Pinnacle (including the holding company and the airline subsidiaries) filed for bankruptcy late Sunday night in Bankruptcy Court in New York. “The bankruptcy process will present the Pinnacle pilots with many challenges, and the most important challenge we face will be to maintain the hard-fought industry standards that our pilots have helped to establish,” Wychor said.

Since the filing, the MEC is working closely with bankruptcy attorneys from Cohen, Weiss, and Simon to monitor and analyze all of the initial filings; working with ALPA Economic and Financial Analysis staff to evaluate both the company’s finances to determine what changes to the pilot contract are necessary and justified; communicating with the American Eagle pilots (who are also operating under bankruptcy) to collaboratively strategize on how to hold the line on key contract provisions; and coordinating with the ALPA Communications Department to develop a communication strategy to address the Pinnacle Pilots’ needs.

“Since the commencement of the negotiations for the JCBA, we have successfully navigated our way through a series of significant challenges.” Wychor said. “We have demonstrated our ability to constructively engage to solve problems in ways that have mutually benefitted our company and our pilots. The mission and the goals in bankruptcy are the same, and our commitment to our pilot group will be unwavering.”

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Confirm Huerta as FAA Administrator
In a letter to U.S. senators, ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak urged for a swift confirmation of Michael Huerta as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“With the recent passage by Congress of the FAA reauthorization bill, it is a time for critical decisions to be made,” said Moak. “Steady, long-term leadership, not transitional leadership, is what is needed at the helm of the FAA.”

In the March 30th letter, Moak underscored Huerta’s professionalism, leadership, and expertise. Pointing to Huerta’s proficiency with all areas of aviation, Moak highlighted that his expertise will be needed at the FAA “to provide stability and direction as we undertake a massive upgrade to our nation’s air traffic control system.”

“As we work together to improve our nation’s already stellar aviation safety record, Michael Huerta has already shown that he can lead the FAA in the right direction,” said Moak in the letter. “His nomination by the president to serve as administrator is welcomed by ALPA. I urge the Senate to confirm Michael Huerta as administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration as soon as the Senate returns from its April district work period.”

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What’s FlightDeck? Watch It Now and Find Out.

Learn how uniformed ALPA pilots are meeting with national legislators to influence pilot- and aviation-related laws and regulations. Hear what pilots discussed at the ALPA-sponsored Flight-Time/Duty-Time Conference in March. Find out where the European Union stands on its controversial emissions trading scheme, and how the FAA is exploring ways to certify iPads and other electronic devices as safe during takeoffs and landings. Plus, find out how Pilots for Kids stepped in to help young Zack Drew after an accident at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Remember that you can sign up for our video podcasts of The FlightDeck via iTunes.

Tell us what you think about this latest edition at We also welcome your suggestions for future stories.

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Cargo Conference This Month
Plans are being finalized for a one-day conference on all-cargo operations to be held April 17 in Washington, D.C. The conference, titled “Air Cargo Safety and Security: Closing the Gaps,” will feature congressional and other government and aviation industry leadership to highlight numerous safety- and security-related deficiencies inherent in all-cargo operations and identify ways to remedy these problems.

The keynote address will be delivered by Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN), who transported cargo as a former Northwest Airlines pilot. Cravaack serves on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and Homeland Security Committee. The agenda also includes the acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and several senior representatives from government and industry.

The conference is to be held in the historic Blue Room of the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The agenda and registration information are available at

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Your Photos, in Action
Wonder what happens to the pictures you’ve submitted for the magazine photo contest? Take a look.

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Other Industry News
• According to Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to move forward with expansion plans for O’Hare International Airport. Read more.

• The Washington Times reports the numbers are improving on airline arrival-time performance and bags delivered. Read more.

• Reuters says a UTair airlines ATR 72 crashed shortly after takeoff in Siberia. Read more.

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ALPA held its first annual Air Safety Forum on April 1–3, 1953. Among the topics discussed were cockpit standardization, fire hazards, approach lighting, emergency evacuation, and noise abatement.

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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