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News from ALPA International

April 5, 2012

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

CAL Pilots Host Congressman Poe

From the left are Coffield, Poe, and Capt. Dave Lundy, Continental B-787 project manager.

The Continental pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, hosted Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.) this week, helping to arrange a visit to legacy Continental’s Training Center at IAH and its B-787 simulator. CAL MEC Legislative Affairs Committee chairman Capt. Mike Coffield also presented a plaque to the congressman on behalf of ALPA, in recognition of his efforts in the House.

Poe has supported ALPA with his opposition to changes in foreign ownership and control rules and other pro-pilot issues, particularly those related to the outsourcing of jobs. The congressman has also recently become engaged with an emerging issue involving Houston-area airports that is of importance to Continental pilots.

“Efforts like this are important to helping ensure that the pilot agenda is advanced in Congress,” said Coffield. “It’s just one of many ways that the CAL MEC Legislative Affairs Committee and ALPA are working together for Continental pilots and for all ALPA pilots.”

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New York Elected Officials Criticize Pinnacle Management
The Pinnacle Airlines pilots have gained some new allies in their newest fight against management and its inability to accurately process employee payroll. Western New York District Representatives Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Representatives Kathy Hochul (NY-26), Brian Higgins (NY-27), and Louise Slaughter (NY-28) sent a letter to Mr. John Spanjers Wednesday strongly criticizing Pinnacle management for taking raises while failing to properly compensate the Pinnacle pilots.

To quote the letter, “It is reprehensible and unconscionable that your company would shortchange its pilots, who are critical to the safety of the flying public, while approving hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra payment for its corporate officers. On behalf of our constituents, we ask that Pinnacle executives, including yourself, reconsider the propriety of accepting generous raises while pilots in your employ are waiting to be paid.”

Since Pinnacle Airlines Corp. implemented a new automated payroll processing program, pilot pay has regularly been inaccurately processed and Pinnacle pilots have experienced and continue to experience unprecedented pay discrepancies.

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Canadian Pilot Reps Tap into ALPA’s Communications Resources
Pilot representatives from the Canada Board and six Canadian MECs converged at ALPA’s Herndon offices this week to engage with ALPA’s communications team in enhancing strategies and skills for communicating with the news media.

“It’s imperative that the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, maintains a strong presence in the Canadian news media,” said Capt. Georges Dawood, secretary-treasurer of ALPA’s Canada Board. “Whether it’s pursuing a safety regulation, calling to enforce an existing labor law, or advancing our pilots’ interests in contract negotiations, our union is dedicated to serving as the voice of airline pilots as part of an overall strategy to achieve our safety, security, and labor relations goals.”

The attendees, who represent pilots at Air Transat, Bearskin, Canadian North, First Air, Jazz, and Kelowna Flightcraft took part in an intensive workshop designed to help position them to interact successfully with leading journalists who cover aviation across Canada. The pilots agreed that news media outreach serves as an essential element in a comprehensive strategy to deliver on ALPA’s aviation policy goals, including on issues such as Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker program and flight- and duty-time regulations and minimum rest requirements for airline pilots.

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ALPA Executive Board Concludes Business

Following an extremely busy agenda Tuesday, members of the ALPA Executive Board reconvened yesterday to address resolutions from delegate committees and to receive a briefing from ALPA’s Government Affairs Department.

During the morning plenary session, the Executive Board members voted to receive a report from the Special Committee for Finance, Structure, and Services; authorized an initial allocation from the Association’s Major Contingency Fund to assist Pinnacle pilots with strategic preparedness in light of their airline’s recently announced bankruptcy; voted to modify the Association’s Administrative Manual to fine-tune ALPA risk management policy; and acted on other resolutions to address overall productivity.

ALPA Government Affairs Director Michael Robbins spoke about the influence that uniformed ALPA members have when meeting face-to-face with legislators, and the power of grassroots efforts like the Association’s Call to Action campaigns. He stressed that lawmakers take note when they receive messages from 50 pilots advocating a single position on an aviation-related matter.

ALPA-PAC Coordinator Zack “PAC-Man” Mooneyham noted that PAC funds, raised solely from U.S. member donations, are distributed to members of Congress who support pro-pilot issues, regardless of party. He talked about the growing influence of foreign airlines and other entities on U.S. and Canadian government decision making and the need for all ALPA members to get involved.

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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 Pilot Partisan movement on page 17 of the April issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the 14th installment of The FlightDeck, learn how one pilot made this Christmas one to remember for Zach Drew.

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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We Want Photos from the Line

The ALPA Facebook page is getting a facelift using your photos. Send your best pictures—taken in accordance with FARs, CARs, and company policy—from the airport or in the sky, and you could see them posted on the We Are ALPA Facebook page and on The FlightDeck. Submit your quality images to


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Help the Flight Safety Foundation
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is requesting pilot input in a study under way to explore the relationship between unstable approaches and go-arounds. Recent studies have reaffirmed that more than 30 percent of all aviation accidents are runway excursions. Many of these excursions result from unstable approaches. Although some unstable approaches result in “go-arounds,” for a variety of reasons others continue to land.

To find strategies to reduce the associated runway excursion rate, FSF has launched a project to research and analyze issues associated with unstable approach and go-around decision making. The survey should take approximately 25 minutes and will assist the Flight Safety Foundation in better understanding decision making during unstable approaches at or below stable approach height.

FSF plans to publish the results of the project in several public forums, which you will be able to review in the future. Please understand that no personally identifying information is collected—survey respondents are completely anonymous. Please also note that you cannot save your progress during this survey; you must complete the survey in one sitting.

Take the survey.

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Other Industry News
• According to Bloomberg, American and American Eagle canceled nearly 460 flights into and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday as tornadoes, hail, and thunderstorms moved through the area. Read more.

• The New York Times interviewed an Alaska Airlines pilot to report on a satellite system that could “end circling above the airport.” Read more.

• Travel Pulse says passenger traffic on U.S. and foreign airlines serving the U.S. rose 1.7 percent in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Read more.

• CNN Travel reports that the U.S. airline industry is enjoying one of the safest periods in its history. Read more.

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On April 7, 1948, pilot organizations from 16 countries met in London to sign an agreement to establish the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA). ALPA signed the document as the representative for U.S. pilots. The Federation was established to give airline pilots from around the globe a formal mechanism to interact with the newly formed International Civil Aviation Organization. IFALPA’s 67th annual conference will be held May 4–7 in Paris.

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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