Everything Matters for the 111th ALPA Executive Board

Following a brief memorial service for the 11th anniversary of 9/11, ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak dropped the gavel to open the 111th regular meeting of the Association’s Executive Board. For the first time, the meeting took place in ALPA’s new, state-of-the-art conference center in its Herndon, Va., office. The union’s four national officers opened the morning plenary with their individual reports, speaking about recent activities and accomplishments, and explaining how Everything Matters—the Association’s theme for this year.

Moak spoke at length about events happening around the globe, which are reshaping the airline industry, including the inroads Emirates Airline is making into Australia and Canada, and the Japanese government’s bailout of JAL. “The environment has changed; our strategy has to adapt,” said Moak, emphasizing that government policy is preventing U.S. airlines from fully competing with their international counterparts.

Moak told Executive Board members, “The union is only what you make it, so make it yours, make it strong, and make it matter.”

ALPA first vice president Capt. Sean Cassidy talked about the achievements and emerging challenges confronting the safety, security, and pilot assistance efforts of ALPA’s Air Safety Organization.

As the Association’s national safety coordinator, he said, “We will continue to be adaptive and evolve, we will continue to listen to you, and we are always mindful of the fact that in order to succeed, it’s not enough for us to see what’s on the horizon. We have to anticipate what’s beyond the horizon.”

The upcoming Board of Directors meeting, the Professional Development Group, and the ALPA Emergency Relief Fund, were high on vice president–administration/secretary Capt. Bill Couette’s presentation agenda. He talked about these ALPA assets and how they are evolving to better meet member needs.

Couette commented, “Right now there’s stress and uncertainty in our industry. . . . It’s times like these that strengthen our determination and encourage us to stand together. These are the qualities that make us not only the largest pilot union in the world, but the strongest.”

“A brief look at our membership tells the story: seven ALPA carriers involved in mergers, four in bankruptcy, and two airlines that have shut down or will shut down later this month,” said Capt. Randy Helling, ALPA vice president–finance/treasurer. He continued, “Just as our industry has shown great flexibility in adapting to this dynamic environment, so too, has our union shown tremendous resiliency in overcoming these hurdles,” he added.

Helling reviewed the ALPA balance sheet, adding, “Our Association is in a much better position financially to face these challenges, to provide vital resources and continued support to our members, and to add value to being a member of the world’s largest pilots union.”

The members of the Executive Board then divided into four committees to review proposed resolutions and discuss issues that will be addressed during the strategic planning phase of the upcoming Board of Directors meeting.

During the afternoon plenary, Eddie Mayenschein, acting deputy director of aviation for the Transportation Security Administration and a former ALPA member, provided a presentation titled, “The Terrorist Threat.” Mayenschein commented, “I have a lot of sleepless nights.”

In addition, the ALPA MEC chairmen provided an overview of the accomplishments of and challenges confronting their pilot groups.

Look for more coverage in the October issue of Air Line Pilot.