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News from ALPA International

March 21, 2013

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In This Issue:

House Proposes Increased Airline Taxes, ALPA Opposes
The House of Representatives today voted in favor of a budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), which includes an unwarranted proposal to double the TSA Security fee from $2.50 per segment to $5 in each direction.

Increasing the TSA Security Fee harms passengers, and airlines, and aviation workers. This is a misguided proposal, and one that has been rejected in the past by Congress. The airline industry is already subject to some of the highest taxes in the country—even beating the levies imposed on “sin” industries like alcohol and tobacco. Raising the costs on airlines by doubling the TSA Security Fee would be devastating on an industry that is still trying to recover from years of losses.

Read more.

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Flying In and Out of London Heathrow?
The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, has been advised that the Metropolitan Police at London Heathrow Airport are randomly selecting flight crews—including pilots, flight attendants, and deadheading crewmembers in uniform—for questioning about alcohol consumption and possible testing with a breathalyzer. Additionally, police may be contacted if security screeners or other airport employees are suspicious about possible crew alcohol use. This program is expected to continue for several weeks.

If you are selected for questioning and/or alcohol testing, please comply with the London Metropolitan Police. Failure to do so could result in your removal from your trip while the police investigate your refusal to cooperate. Although this policy may seem invasive, remember that you are subject to local laws.

If you are detained for any period of time, we recommend that you make a record of what happened as soon after the event as possible, in case you need to refer back to it. If you have problems or questions about a related event, please contact your status rep or assigned labor relations counsel.

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Fight to Preserve Biofuels Work Continues
An informative op-ed by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Manan Trivedi appeared in The Hill recently regarding the harmful cuts to biofuel funding and energy security. The piece highlights another critical reason for ALPA to support U.S. Department of Defense procurement of advanced biofuels. While ALPA has been a strong advocate of the ability of DOD to procure and refine advanced biofuels, as Trivedi notes, not everyone is of the same opinion.

Even though DOD procurement of advanced biofuels enjoys wide bipartisan support, ALPA remains vigilant in fighting back against short-sighted attempts to halt the advances being made in the advanced biofuel industry. ALPA, along with our coalition partners, was successful in defeating an amendment by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) yesterday, which would have taken $60 million away from the DOD budget for the procurement of advanced biofuels. The final vote was 40-59 with bipartisan support for our position supporting biofuels.

Trivedi is a spokesperson for Operation Free, one of our coalition partners with whom we work to ensure that DOD is allowed to lead us toward the commercialization of advanced biofuels as DOD has done with many other technologies.

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FAA Shortens Waiting Period after Heart Procedures
The FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine announced that most pilots undergoing cardiac procedures for coronary artery disease are now only required to wait 3 months following the procedure before applying for reinstatement of their medical certificates. These procedures include angioplasties, stent placement, and arthrectomies. The exceptions to this policy that still require a 6-month wait are interventions involving the left main coronary artery, valve replacements, and all bypass grafts. Additionally, pilots having pacemaker generator changes without lead replacement will no longer have to wait 60 days for medical certification. The FAA will formalize these policies shortly.

Pilots who have had cardiac procedures included above since November 2012 should contact the ALPA Aeromedical Office at 303-341-4435 for guidance on how this policy change may affect their case.

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Security, Jumpseat Councils Meet, Provide Guidance
As noted in Tuesday’s FastRead, ALPA’s Security and Jumpseat Councils met in joint session this week at ALPA’s Conference Center in Herndon, Va. The councils discussed their respective missions and received program updates from individual member airlines. On Wednesday, the combined group received informative briefings from the DHS’ Customs and Border Protection on the mission of the National Targeting Center and from the TSA regarding crewmember self-defense training. An additional briefing from ALPA’s Security Group focused on the latest information regarding the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.

The two councils, which advise the Air Safety Organization on the MECs’ views regarding security and jumpseat matters, met separately on Wednesday to discuss their issues and work programs in more detail. The Jumpseat Council elected a new chair, F/O Rich Odbert (FDX), during its deliberations. The leadership of the Security Group met today and reviewed the status of all of its projects and activities.

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ALPA GA Summit Pushed Back a Day

The ALPA Government Affairs Leadership Summit will take place June 5-6, a day later than previously announced, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The summit will provide pilot reps an opportunity to enhance their advocacy and ALPA-PAC leadership skills through hands-on training. Participants will gain the tools needed to become effective advocates and to grow participation in PAC and grassroots programs within their pilot groups. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance your legislative/political abilities, no matter your experience level.

Read more.

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Are You Prepared? Take the Survey
As a pilot, you hope for the best and plan for the worst. But are you adequately prepared outside the cockpit?

ALPA’s Member Insurance Department is here to help you stay current with your ever-changing life circumstances; that’s why we ask for your participation in a brief survey about your preparedness in the event of a life-changing disability.

Take the survey.

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Register for Pilot Assistance Forum, May 7–9
This year’s Pilot Assistance Forum is scheduled for May 7-9, in ALPA’s Conference Center in Herndon, Va. This three-day event will feature presentations from each of the Pilot Assistance Groups: Aeromedical, Canadian Pilot Assistance, Critical Incident Response Program, Human Intervention and Motivation Study, and Professional Standards.

The conference represents an excellent opportunity for new pilot representatives to learn procedures and techniques from more seasoned representatives who will share their experiences and expertise. All Pilot Assistance representatives are invited to attend the Professional Standards training event scheduled for Thursday, May 9.

Read more.

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Social Network Addresses Customer Complaints
Airlines are beginning to resolve passenger complaints using Twitter. Fox News recently described a scenario in which a passenger, unable to rebook his trip on an earlier flight, complained to the airline on the social network. Six minutes later, the passenger received a response confirming the rebooking policy based on the kind of ticket purchased, but the airline representative offered to investigate alternatives. A half hour later, the passenger was booked on an earlier flight and was observed posting positive comments and defending the airline to his followers.

Aviation industry consulting firm SimpliFlying reports that 213 airlines are currently on Twitter. However, this is a relatively new phenomenon and the organization notes that 24 of the airlines produce 80 percent of the content. Twitter won’t solve all of these kinds of problems, but it does give us a glimpse as to how our industry is evolving to improve customer service.

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The Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the branch of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the grounds of Washington Dulles International Airport, will present “Women in Aviation and Space” this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Bring the whole family to learn about the incredible contributions of women in aviation, science, and aerospace. Enjoy hands-on activities, guest speakers, a theatrical presentation, book signings, and Flights of Fancy Story Time for younger visitors. Admission is free but parking at the museum is $15. Get directions to the Center.

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Most Recent FastRead Issues
March 19, 2013
March 14, 2013
March 12, 2013
March 7, 2013
March 5, 2013

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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

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