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June 17, 2014

In This Issue:

Breaking News:
     • JetBlue MEC Takes First Step—With an Interim Agreement
     • ALPA Daily Extra: Capt. Moak Opposes NAI in The Hill
     • Kathy Fox Appointed to Chair the Transportation Safety Board of Canada
National News:
     • ALPA Hosts Symposium on Just Culture and Data Sharing
Pilot Group News:
     • First Air to Shut Down Heavy Cargo Operation
     • Spirit MEC Revs Up P2P Committee
     • ExpressJet Families Launch 2014 Unity Tour
News on the Net

JetBlue MEC Takes First Step—With an Interim Agreement

Today, the new JetBlue MEC announced that it successfully negotiated an interim agreement with JetBlue management. This document sets forth procedures for handling grievances and disciplinary actions, as well as outlining the “Association Leave” policy for pilot volunteers. This marks an important step toward an eventual collective bargaining agreement, which would be the first on the property.

Read the entire release.

ALPA Daily Extra: Capt. Moak Opposes NAI in The Hill

Today, The Hill published Capt. Moak’s editorial opposing NAI, “Why would Norwegian Air International object to obeying the law?”. In the piece, Capt. Moak lays out the arguments against NAI and its scheme to evade labor laws, while also setting the record straight on NAI’s misrepresentation of ALPA’s position.

Read the entire editorial.

Congratulations! Kathy Fox Appointed to Chair the Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Today, ALPA issued a statement congratulating Kathy Fox on her appointment as chair of the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada, with her term beginning on August 21, 2014. Describing her as “an excellent choice,” ALPA reiterated its successful collaborations with Ms. Fox in the past and looks forward to a continued productive relationship as she moves into her new position with TSB.

Read the entire release in English | Lire le communiqué en français

ALPA Hosts Symposium on Just Culture and Data Sharing

Aviation data-gathering and analysis programs, especially FOQA and ASAP, have made enormous contributions to improving airline safety in North America, and similar efforts are beginning to take root on other continents. ALPA gathered more than 100 ALPA aviation safety representatives and government and industry leaders from around the world to discuss how to further data sharing efforts in Washington, D.C., yesterday at the Proactive Use of Data: International Progress Toward a Just Culture Symposium. Well over 100 viewers from 29 countries tuned in to the webcast.

“Data sharing is pivotal if we’re to enhance safety worldwide,” said keynote speaker Michael Huerta, FAA administrator. “And I think there’s little doubt that data sharing has the potential to be the single-greatest catalyst for aviation safety in the decades to come.” Distinguished panelists from Canada, Europe, and the United States expanded on varying issues, including fundamental concerns regarding use and misuse of data gathered through voluntary, confidential self-reporting safety programs, which remains to be resolved.

Read more about the Just Culture Symposium.

First Air to Shut Down Heavy Cargo Operation

For a time it was the biggest cargo aircraft operating in the Canadian arctic—a B-767-200 freighter flown by First Air to deliver groceries and other supplies to remote northern communities. Now the airline has announced it’s giving up the 767, which management says was underutilized and expensive to operate. The very senior pilots at FAB who fly the freighter will be moved to other aircraft, which may cause a ripple effect of displacements throughout the entire FAB group. First Air says it expects the 767 crews to transition to its growing fleet of B-737s, where there is a shortage of pilots.

Cargo is a huge business for First Air, Canadian North, Calm Air, and other ALPA carriers in Canada. Air freight is often the only way to deliver perishable food, mail, and other time-sensitive cargo to far-flung destinations that can be hundreds of miles away from the nearest road. The Ottawa-based airline also flies ATR-42 and ATR-72 turboprops configured to carry both passengers and cargo, and a pair of Lockheed Hercules transports.

Spirit MEC Revs Up P2P Committee

For many pilot groups, growth happens on a slow steady pace, but for Spirit Airlines, they’ve more than tripled the size of the pilot group in less than five years—and it shows no sign of slowing. Going from a small cadre of pilots who all knew each other to a large group with bases spread across the continental U.S. presented challenges, especially in communications. To help make sure that all Spirit pilots have timely and accurate information, the Spirit MEC has reinvigorated the Pilot-to-Pilot (P2P) Committee under the leadership of F/O James Ackerman. On June 12 and 13, a dozen volunteers met in Herndon for P2P training, including presentations from Communications, Representation, Legal, and Economic and Financial Analysis departments.

“With negotiations around the corner,” commented F/O Ackerman, “we need to make sure that all our pilots, old and new, have the facts. Rather than waiting for them to read an e-mail or ask a status representative, we’re going to them to build unity, create consensus, and stamp out the rumor mill.”

ExpressJet Families Launch 2014 Unity Tour

Starting this weekend, the ExpressJet Family Awareness Committee is launching a summer-long series of fun events for the group’s almost 3,000 pilots. XJT will begin its 2014 “Unity Tour” this Friday, June 20, with a gathering at the Wet ‘n’ Wild Splash Town waterpark just north of Houston in Spring, Tex. There are five more events for XJT families this summer, including Elitch Gardens in Denver on July 18; Cedar Point near Cleveland on July 28; the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City on August 8; the Action Park near Newark, N.J., on August 18; and WhirlyBall in Chicago on September 19.

The Family Awareness events will give XJT pilots and their loved ones a chance to relax together while also getting informal briefings from the MEC and other volunteers on joint contract negotiations, the merger with ASA, and other union work. XJT pilots who want to learn more about the tour or RSVP for events should visit and click on the “RSVP” tab.

News on the Net

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