New ALPA Reps Gain Skills at Leadership Training Conference

Nearly 100 pilots from 25 ALPA airlines are in Reston, Va., this week for the Association’s Leadership Training Conference, ALPA’s training ground for newly elected local council representatives and MEC officers. The LTC is held each year, usually in February to coincide with the beginning of many new elected representatives’ terms. This year’s meeting agenda has been retooled to provide an even stronger focus on giving ALPA leaders the personal and professional tools they’ll need to succeed.

The four-day conference is one of the most important things the Association does, said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak. “Being an ALPA rep is tough. It’s not flag football, it’s full-contact without pads,” said Moak, a former DAL LEC rep and MEC chairman. “You are going to be getting calls in the middle of the night. You are going to be handling grievances. You are now going to be making decisions—decisions that some people won’t like.”

The key to being an effective union leader is to make full use of ALPA’s staff resources and rely on fellow pilots for support, he said. “We are going to make sure you’re successful. Everybody in this room needs to look around and see that the guy next to you is here to help you. We have your back, we have your six,” Moak said.

The first two days of the conference featured presentations on ALPA structure and resources, leadership tips, contract negotiations and representation, effective communications, and safety, security, and pilot assistance priorities.

In a somber ending to today’s session, the pilot attendees were scheduled to visit an NTSB hangar near Ashburn, Va., where the wreckage from TWA Flight 800 is stored and used for accident investigation training.

The 2012 Leadership Training Conference continues tomorrow and concludes on Thursday.