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News from ALPA International

April 2, 2013

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In This Issue:

FAMS Announces FFDO Training Opportunities

The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) has informed ALPA that it has a limited number of slots available for those who wish to be trained as federal flight deck officers. The six-day training program dates are as follows:

• June 3-8
• June 10-15
• June 17-22
• June 24-29

Applications need to be submitted no later than April 15, 2013, using a password-protected volunteer questionnaire. The password for the questionnaire can be obtained by sending an e-mail to, which will generate an automated reply. Once the questionnaire is completed, it should be sent to FAMS using the e-mail address that is provided to the applicant along with the password and other necessary information. Please contact ALPA’s Engineering & Air Safety Department (800-424-2470) with any questions.

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ALPA Ops Bulletin Addresses Effect of Tower Closures
Air traffic control closures and restrictions to operating hours announced by the FAA will begin going into effect on Apr 7. The changes predominantly impact airports with low traffic volume, but some scheduled operations flown by ALPA pilots will also be impacted.

Many ALPA pilots successfully operate into non-towered airports every day, but these new changes may result in additional operations in and out of airports without an operating control tower. The ALPA Air Safety Organization has created Operations Bulletin 2013-01 to summarize arrival and departure considerations, and all ALPA pilots are encouraged to review this bulletin and any related company and government publications.

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ARW Volunteers Gather in Herndon
Recognizing the importance of their committee volunteers and the work that they do, Air Wisconsin’s MEC officers called together all 21 of their standing and special committee chairmen for a meeting in Herndon, Va. This was the first of what the officers hope will become an annual meeting.

“Many of our successes in defending and advancing the careers of our pilots are the result of our hard-working volunteers,” says ARW MEC Chairman Richard Swindell. “By coming together face-to-face, we were able to fully engage with our core group of volunteers and collaborate on methods for addressing current and future challenges. This will help strengthen our communications efforts internally and with the pilot group, as well as build a solid framework for the next generation of ALPA volunteers.”

Read more.

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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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Identity Thieves Target Your Tax Return
One of the fastest-growing ways identity thieves are stealing from you is by tax-identity theft. The National Taxpayer Advocate, an IRS watchdog group, has seen a 650 percent rise in the number of identity-theft cases since 2008. In fact, since last year, the IRS has had to double the number of staff working on these types of cases to 3,000.

As recently reported by the Wall Street Journal:

“Tax-identity theft exploded to more than 1.1 million cases in 2011 from 51,700 in 2008. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration last summer reported discovering an additional 1.5 million potentially fraudulent 2011 tax refunds totaling in excess of $5.2 billion.

“Fraudulent tax returns can come in the form of tax-identity theft, refund fraud, or return-preparer fraud and are difficult to prosecute. With e-filing, evidence of fraud is difficult to find. There are no signed tax forms, envelopes or fingerprints, and e-filing promises quick refunds.”

Read more.

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Pulse of the Industry

Alaska Airlines now offers nonstop service between San Diego and Boston—the sixth new city Alaska has begun serving from San Diego in the past year . . . Compass Airlines flight attendants, represented by the AFA-CWA, have reached a tentative agreement for a first contract . . . Pinnacle Airlines is in the midst of hiring hundreds for all kinds of jobs in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, as the company prepares to move its headquarters from Memphis next month . . . Later this month, United plans to open a renovated south concourse in Terminal B at Houston’s George Bush International Airport.

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Bird Strikes—A Continuing Problem

USA Today reports how airports are developing creative strategies to combat the threat of bird strikes and collisions with other wildlife. The number of reported collisions in the United States has been on the rise, with reported incidents (11,590 last year) nearly doubling the 6,769 in 2002.

Read the USA Today article to learn more.

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Awesome Airfield Eateries
Beth Kaufman of CNN has posted her list of the 20 best airports for culinary offerings. For those who yearn for the “good ol’ days” of air travel, she reminds us that it wasn’t so long ago that airport fare could often be limited to vending machines and what could be found in gift shops.

Read the CNN story.

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Aviation pioneer and Pan American World Airways founder Juan Trippe passed away on April 3, 1981, in New York.

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Most Recent FastRead Issues
March 28, 2013
March 26, 2013
March 21, 2013
March 19, 2013
March 14, 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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