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News from ALPA International

April 26, 2012

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The FlightDeck

In This Issue:

Congress: Raise Airline Industry to One Level of Safety

Capt. Sean Cassidy

In April 25 testimony before the U.S. House Aviation Subcommittee, Capt. Sean Cassidy, first vice president and national safety coordinator for the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, called on Congress to swiftly act to apply the new FAA science-based flight- and duty-time regulations to both passenger and cargo airline pilots.

“All pilots are human, and we experience fatigue in the same way, regardless of whether we are flying passengers or cargo in our aircraft,” Cassidy told the subcommittee. “Despite this, the new science-based fatigue regulations apply only to pilots who fly passengers, and not to those who fly cargo. Leaving all-cargo pilots out of the regulations is a serious safety concern.”

In his testimony, Cassidy thanked Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN) and Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) for introducing the Safe Skies Act of 2012, which would apply the fatigue rules to all air cargo operations. “We urge all members of this Committee to cosponsor HR 4350 and to swiftly report out the Safe Skies Act of 2012 to help achieve one level of safety across the industry,” he said.

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Take the Call!
As part of the Association’s efforts to engage its members more fully, ALPA is launching a poll of U.S. and Canadian members to pinpoint areas of the union’s work that are most important and deserve the most attention. The goal is to increase member participation in and boost support for key Association activities and initiatives. The telephone polling has already begun, and the online poll will start in May.

Polling will provide valuable information in the following areas:

• pilot demographics;
• members’ knowledge about ALPA (its structure, governance, financing, etc.);
• communications, including how members prioritize the communications they receive and whether they are getting the information they want and need;
• volunteerism levels and willingness of members to become personally involved;
• areas of ALPA work or benefits provided that are most important to Association members, and information about new areas of work, benefits, and services that members desire.

Every member has the opportunity to participate in this poll. If you are not called within the next few weeks, take the opportunity to go online when the poll opens on our website.

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KCM Implementation Begins
This week, Known Crewmember (KCM) site surveys were conducted at the Denver, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas airports with the participation of ALPA Local Council representatives and staff. The purpose of these surveys was to review the program with the airport operator, airline, and local Transportation Security Administration (TSA) representatives at each airport and determine optimal locations for the placement of KCM access points.

The industry and TSA representatives at all three locations expressed enthusiasm for the program and have given considerable thought to how to make KCM work best at their properties. KCM is slated to go on-line at these three airports beginning in July.

The next planned site surveys are to be conducted at the three New York–area airports, Philadelphia International, and Reagan Washington National. Look for more information about this program in the near future.

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Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization: Key Reforms Vital to Protect Jobs
As Congress takes up the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, ALPA has urged lawmakers to implement key reforms to protect U.S. airline workers’ jobs in connection with the Bank’s financing of aircraft for foreign airlines.

“Airline pilots and thousands of other airline industry employees across the country are committed to ensuring a thriving U.S. airline industry because they know it is vital to promoting our country’s economic viability. It puts Americans to work, it stimulates manufacturing, and it promotes commerce,” said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak. “In order to thrive, however, U.S. airlines must be able to compete in the global marketplace. The Ex-Im Bank’s subsidizing of foreign airlines with U.S. taxpayer money puts U.S. airlines at a disadvantage and threatens thousands of U.S. airline employees’ jobs.”

Over the past five years, the Bank has provided financing for dozens of wide-body aircraft to foreign airlines at rates that are not available to U.S. airlines. Foreign airlines are using many of these Bank-subsidized aircraft on routes that are, have been, or could be served by U.S. airlines. As a result, U.S. carriers have had to withdraw from or forgo entering routes that might otherwise be economically viable, costing airline workers’ jobs and threatening the ability of U.S. airlines to compete on international routes.

Read more.

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ALPA Leaders Address Critical NextGen Issues
During this week’s “NextGen Ahead” conference sponsored by Aviation Week, ALPA Air Safety Organization representatives Capt. Sean Cassidy and F/O Marc Henegar presented the association’s views on several key NextGen issues. The Washington, D.C., conference drew attendance from government and industry organizations to discuss topics across the full spectrum of NextGen operations.

Cassidy, ALPA first vice president and national safety coordinator, summarized ALPA’s position on Remotely Piloted Aircraft integration in the National Airspace System (NAS) as “first, do no harm,” which reflects ALPA’s established view that unmanned aircraft should not be allowed unrestricted access to the NAS until the aircraft, pilots, and operators meet the same level of safety as all other NAS users.

Cassidy outlined the need for standards and technology development to continue to support that goal. He recognized the potential value of some proposed uses of RPA, but also cautioned that as for all NAS users, access to and operation in the NAS must be contingent on maintaining One Level of Safety for the NAS with the only difference being where the pilot sits.

Read more.

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Island Air Pilots Prepare for New Aircraft, Growth
Island Air pilots are preparing to open negotiations following a recent announcement by senior management that the company plans to grow and expand its fleet. The airline plans to replace the existing Dash-8 fleet with ATR 72-212 aircraft in 2012 and add three more ATRs in 2013. ATR service is expected to begin September 1.

“This is an exciting time for our pilots and our company,” said Capt. Monte Vories, acting MEC chairman. “We look forward to the opportunities this expansion will provide and are committed to doing our part to ensure a smooth transition to the new fleet.”

Negotiations for the new aircraft are scheduled to begin next week. The pilots’ goal is to secure a fair agreement that covers all aspects related to the new aircraft prior to the in-service date. If the parties have not reached an agreement by that date, the issue will go to arbitration, and any compensation or other adjustments will be retroactive to the in-service date.

The MEC and Negotiating Committee, along with a cadre of ALPA National officers and staff experts, have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to evaluate current contract provisions, analyze similar aircraft rates, and determine an overall bargaining strategy. They have also launched a multifaceted communications program to get pilot input and provide transparency throughout the negotiations process. This will help ensure that pilots will be ready to vote on any agreement put forth for ratification.

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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.

Learn about the new proposed pilot certification and qualification requirements on page 25 of the May issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

On the 14th installment of The FlightDeck, find out about ALPA’s Federal Flight Deck Officer Call-to-Action campaign.

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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Pilots at Greater Risk

Here’s a shocking statistic: Pilots are almost three times more likely than the general public to need disability insurance. ALPA’s disability products, including Loss of License, Loss of License Plus, and Lump Sum Loss of License, are designed by pilots to meet the need of pilots and are backed by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a superbly managed, AAA-rated insurance carrier.

To learn why coverage is so important and how you can adequately protect yourself and your loved ones, read “ALPA Disability Insurance: Income When You’re Grounded,” in the ALPA Toolbox column in the April 2012 issue of Air Line Pilot magazine.

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We Want Photos from the Line
We want to see what you see. Share your pictures from the line. Air Line Pilot encourages you to submit your high-quality prints from a developer or high-resolution digital images. Your photo could be featured on the cover of a future magazine!

Send your photos to Thanks.


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Other Industry News
• The Washington Post asks the question: “Should we worry about cities abandoned by airlines?” Read more.

• An article in the Huffington Post includes results from a TripAdvisor air travel survey, which reveals some interesting traveler habits. Read more.

• According to the Associated Press, the UN’s World Trade Organization says 1 billion people will cross international borders as tourists this year for the first time. Read more.

• MSNBC reports that according to a paper published in the journal Cephalagia, Italian neurologists report on 75 people who suffer from what they describe as a “peculiar headache” while flying. It seems to mostly affect men and typically flares up during the flight’s landing. Read more.

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On April 28, 1949, ALPA broke ground at Chicago Municipal Airport (now Midway) for the first Association-owned headquarters building.

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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