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News from ALPA International

April 9, 2013

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In This Issue:

Congress Says No to New Aviation User Tax
Last Friday, 223 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle signed a letter to the administration opposing the $100 per flight fee on commercial and general aviation. Aviation user fees have been proposed by the administration in its last two budgets—and soundly rejected by Congress. Previous administrations have also suggested similar fees, which have been likewise rejected.

The proposed fee would heap on an extra $100 for each departure for every airline—whether passenger or cargo. This would add yet another tax to an industry that bears an unfair tax burden in comparison to other industries.

The U.S. aviation industry is seeking to grow and compete in a turbulent global market, and is dealing with increased incursions into the U.S. marketplace by foreign carriers. The U.S. government should be endorsing policies that will level the playing field and help domestic carriers compete, rather than seeking income streams from an already overtaxed industry. The signing members asked that the administration withdraw the proposal and “abandon this idea once and for all.”

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ALPA Urges No-Vote on Anti-Labor Bill
Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l wrote to members of the U.S. House of Representatives today, urging them to vote against the anti-labor "Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor Management Relations Act." This bill would shutter the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) indefinitely and deprive both labor and management of the ability to have their rights adjudicated, when a violation of the NLRA is alleged.

Workers would have no ability to receive redress from the NLRB when they have been illegally fired, retaliated against, denied the right to bargain with their employer, or otherwise had their legal rights violated. It would also set a terrible precedent for the future labor-management relations at the National Mediation Board.

Congress should not react in this manner to legal cases currently being addressed in federal court involving the president's recess authority in appointing NLRB members. The solution to this problem is for the president to promptly nominate, and for the Senate to promptly confirm, a full package of NLRB nominees. Read Capt. Moak's letter.

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Wasaya MEC Holds Road Shows in Support of TA
Last week, members of the Wasaya MEC traveled to Red Lake, Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, and Thunder Bay, Ont., meeting with more than half of the Wasaya pilots in support of the tentative agreement reached in late March with the company. Should this three-and-half-year agreement be ratified, it will be the second collective bargaining agreement the pilots have negotiated since joining ALPA in 2008. The TA includes improved pay rates, a new salary system, and increased per diem. It also provides for pilots to take more sick time and improves vacation benefits.

“This contract improves upon what we gained in our first contract,” says Wasaya MEC Chairman James Harding. “But it also provides long-term gains so that pilots who start at Wasaya can have a career at Wasaya. We have built a strong relationship with our company and this contract reflects that relationship.”

Read more.

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FAA Delays Tower Closures

The FAA has delayed closure of the previously announced 149 air traffic control towers until June 15 to give the affected airport communities sufficient time to determine if they want to fund the towers themselves. The postponement was publicized after several airports filed lawsuits to block the tower closures, asserting that this action would be in violation of federal law, which protects airports from changes that could negatively affect safety.

The FAA, responding to sequestration budget cuts, announced in March that it would shut down 149 contracted air traffic control towers as part of the agency’s effort to reduce its annual operating budget.

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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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Canadian Controllers Negotiate New Contract
CAW Local 5454 of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, which represents approximately 2,000 controllers, recently reached a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement with NAV CANADA. The contract, which covers the period until March 31, 2016, provides wage increases, productivity enhancements, and the introduction of a new-hire pension arrangement.

NAV CANADA, the country’s civil air navigation services provider, offers air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services, and electronic aids to navigation.

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Pulse of the Industry
AirTran Airways was ranked among the top three performing airlines for 2012, according to the 23rd annual Airline Quality Rating of the nation’s 14 airlines . . . Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting antitrust immunity for a new joint venture offering flights between North America and the British Isles . . . . Jazz Aviation recently acquired six new Bombardier Dash-8 Q400s . . . Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services has signed a deal with North American Airlines for light and heavy maintenance services . . . After it emerges from bankruptcy this month, Pinnacle Airlines will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta with headquarters near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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Cabin Enhancements

Skift, the travel industry media company, reports that “In-flight innovation these days focuses a lot on purely digital developments, including Wi-Fi and debate around BYOD (bring-your-own-device), but a lot is happening elsewhere too, from interior design, to storage of food, to making restrooms more user-friendly.”

Acknowledging candidates for the Crystal Cabin Awards, which identify excellence in aviation interior innovation, Skift has selected 12 new offerings you should see.

Read the Skift report.

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The B-737 made its first test flight on April 9, 1967. The first 737-100 was delivered 10 months later to Lufthansa.

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Most Recent FastRead Issues
April 4, 2013
April 2, 2013
March 28, 2013
March 26, 2013
March 21, 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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