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News from ALPA International

April 18, 2013

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In This Issue:

ALPA Continues Fight Against Abu Dhabi Preclearance Facility

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l continued its no-holds-barred campaign to avert the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s misguided decision to open a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facility at the United Arab Emirates’ Abu Dhabi International Airport.

In addition to mobilizing its members to participate in a Call to Action, the Association yesterday reached out to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in a letter requesting clarification on the rationale for her agency’s decision. The letter noted, “We are dedicated to making sure that CBP’s preclearance program is managed responsibly, cost effectively, and with American national security as its primary concern. The development of a facility in Abu Dhabi, however, raises a number of concerns that must be addressed immediately.”

Take action now.

Read more.

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FAA Notifies Pilots of GPS Testing

The FAA recently published a flight advisory to pilots regarding Global Positioning System (GPS) testing that may result in unreliable or unavailable GPS signals over a wide area of the western United States from April 19 to May 3, 2013. The area encompasses all or most of Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah as well as portions of surrounding states. Specific coordinates, altitudes, and times are outlined in the advisory. Test periods may be updated by NOTAM. The FAA is requesting that any GPS unreliability identified by pilots be reported to ARTCC.

ALPA recommends all pilots remain vigilant in reviewing dispatch paperwork and on-board GPS indications for potential impacts on departure, en route, and arrival routing and procedures at destinations and alternates.

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ALPA Holds First Risk Management Course
Eleven line pilot safety representatives from seven pilot groups participated this week in ALPA’s first-ever Risk Management Course, designed to give ALPA safety reps a thorough grounding in the philosophy and practice of risk assessment, safety management systems, ASAP, and FOQA.

An important component of the course was the time devoted to small-group exercises. In one, the pilots conducted a risk assessment and developed recommendations for mitigating safety issues at two actual airports. In another, they played the roles of ALPA rep, FAA rep, or airline management rep on an ASAP ERC as they dealt with an actual, but de-identified, ASAP report. A third exercise involved making decisions as an ALPA FOQA gatekeeper.

Read more.

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ALPA Hosts HIMS Seminar
More than 150 line pilots and representatives of government, the airline industry, and the health-care community came together April 15-16 at ALPA’s Herndon, Va., Conference Center for a comprehensive symposium on helping flightcrew members deal with alcoholism and other substance abuse.

HIMS (Human Intervention and Motivation Study) is the FAA-funded substance abuse treatment program for airline pilots, which, according to the HIMS website (, “coordinates the identification, treatment, and return to the cockpit of impaired aviators. It is an industry-wide effort in which companies, pilot unions, and the FAA work together to preserve careers and further aviation safety.” ALPA administers the HIMS program under a contract from the FAA.

Read more.

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Pilot Safety Reps Take ALPA Safety Two School
Seasoned line pilot safety representatives from a number of ALPA pilot groups spent two days in ALPA’s Herndon, Va., offices this week soaking up more training—the union’s Safety Two School, which builds on the solid foundation in ALPA safety work they received at the ALPA Basic Safety School.

Safety Two attendees received specialized training in leadership, management, accident prevention, and news media communications (i.e., how to serve effectively as an ALPA spokesperson).

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Pulse of the Industry

AirTran plans to cut 283 jobs at its two reservations centers in Georgia . . . Alaska Airlines has established a new Customer Innovation Department for the purpose of making the passenger experience from buying a ticket to the day of flight as simple and efficient as possible . . . Pinnacle Airlines has received approval from a bankruptcy court to exit bankruptcy as a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines and expects to do so by May 1 . . . Spirit Airlines this week added new service from Dallas/Fort Worth International to Philadelphia International and Minneapolis/St. Paul International.

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TTD Says Keep Aviation Out of Broad Trade Talks

In his latest MoveAmerica blog, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind says, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

“That’s our message to U.S. government trade negotiators as they enter into talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, with the European Union.

“We’ve seen how balanced global trade can create good jobs, boost the economy, and open new markets. But we’ve also seen how trade done the wrong way can ravage industries that are pillars of our economy, destroy middle-class jobs, and even threaten our security.”

Read more.

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Canadian Senate Committee Calls for Aviation Improvements
The Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications has issued a report recommending that the Canadian Government create a single, cohesive national air travel strategy to train new pilots rather than hire temporary foreign ones and improve the competiveness of Canadian airports.

The report calls for the training of new pilots, as shortages exist in the northern and remote regions. “A lack of qualified individuals could seriously impede the air transport industry’s future capacity to expand, thus further reducing competition in this sector,” the report states.

Read more.

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Texas Plant Explosion Reminds Us Why AERF Is So Important

News media reports about today’s deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West remind us of the importance of both contributing and having access to the ALPA Emergency Relief Fund (AERF).

Catastrophe can strike at a moment’s notice leaving those in its wake displaced and facing unanticipated costs. AERF provides for the immediate needs of ALPA pilots and their families who fall victim to widespread disasters. Funded from contributions by ALPA members and staff, AERF is one of the many tangible benefits of belonging to the Association.

To learn more about the fund, make a donation, or request a grant, visit

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Western Air Express began operations on April 17, 1926, with flights between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. The carrier would later change its name to Western Airlines, flying until 1987 when it merged with Delta Air Lines.

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Most Recent FastRead Issues
April 16, 2013
April 11, 2013
April 9, 2013
April 4, 2013
April 2, 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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