Aviation Security, Jumpseat Reps Hold Annual Meeting

ALPA’s Aviation Security structure, comprised of the Aviation Security Group, Security Council, and Jumpseat Council, met this week to hear presentations from senior-level government security and airline representatives about ongoing criminal and terrorist threats and the measures being taken to safeguard airline operations. ALPA’s president Capt. Lee Moak and first vice president and national safety coordinator Capt. Sean Cassidy welcomed the 35 attending pilot representatives from 16 airlines. The national officers shared their perspectives on industrial and security issues and the state of the Association.

Aviation Security chairman Capt. Fred Eissler (FDX), who moderated the event, observed, “Relationships are key to everything we do,” acknowledging ALPA’s ongoing efforts to share information and coordinate with other industry stakeholders.

Meeting participants heard from a FedEx Express Flight Ops Threat Awareness coordinator who briefed on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) before asking meeting participants to point out four dummy IEDs he had planted around the conference room. The latter exercise was designed to encourage pilots to be aware of their surroundings.

Tops officials from U.S Customs and Border Protection and the FBI’s Terrorism Screening Center discussed their agencies’ campaigns to spot fraudulent passport documentation and detect international security breaches to make air transportation more seamless and secure.

ALPA pilot subject matter experts (SMEs) briefed the group on the status of the Association’s campaigns to advance cargo security and secondary cockpit barriers and to combat cockpit laser illuminations, address jumpseat concerns, hotel and crew member security, and improve the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. ALPA Government Affairs Director Elizabeth Baker reviewed the Association’s work with lawmakers to pass airline- and pilot-supportive legislation, and stressed the need for members to contribute to ALPA-PAC.

During the course of the week, the Security and Jumpseat Councils met separately for break-out sessions. Meeting participants toured the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center and attended crew member self-defense training at a nearby Federal Air Marshal Service facility.