Tag Archives: ALPA

Air Traffic Controllers, Pilots, Flight Attendants detail serious safety concerns due to shutdown

On Day 33 of the government shutdown, National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) President Joe DePete, and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson released the following statement:

“We have a growing concern for the safety and security of our members, our airlines, and the traveling public due to the government shutdown. This is already the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States and there is no end in sight. In our risk averse industry, we cannot even calculate the level of risk currently at play, nor predict the point at which the entire system will break. It is unprecedented.

“Due to the shutdown, air traffic controllers, transportation security officers, safety inspectors, air marshals, federal law enforcement officers, FBI agents, and many other critical workers have been working without pay for over a month. Staffing in our air traffic control facilities is already at a 30-year low and controllers are only able to maintain the system’s efficiency and capacity by working overtime, including 10-hour days and 6-day workweeks at many of our nation’s busiest facilities. Due to the shutdown, the FAA has frozen hiring and shuttered its training academy, so there is no plan in effect to fill the FAA’s critical staffing need. Even if the FAA were hiring, it takes two to four years to become fully facility certified and achieve Certified Professional Controller (CPC) status. Almost 20% of CPCs are eligible to retire today. There are no options to keep these professionals at work without a paycheck when they can no longer afford to support their families. When they elect to retire, the National Airspace System (NAS) will be crippled.

“The situation is changing at a rapid pace. Major airports are already seeing security checkpoint closures, with many more potentially to follow. Safety inspectors and federal cyber security staff are not back on the job at pre-shutdown levels, and those not on furlough are working without pay. Last Saturday, TSA management announced that a growing number of officers cannot come to work due to the financial toll of the shutdown. In addition, we are not confident that system-wide analyses of safety reporting data, which is used to identify and implement corrective actions in order to reduce risks and prevent accidents is 100 percent operational due to reduced FAA resources.

“As union leaders, we find it unconscionable that aviation professionals are being asked to work without pay and in an air safety environment that is deteriorating by the day. To avoid disruption to our aviation system, we urge Congress and the White House to take all necessary steps to end this shutdown immediately. “

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Pilot unions unite to fight attempts to eliminate pilots from the flight deck

International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued this statement:

Today, at the 64th Air Safety Forum, hosted by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the unions representing the pilots of nearly 50 commercial airlines joined together to voice their opposition to a dangerous set of provisions that were added to the FAA reauthorization bill passed earlier this year by the U.S. House of Representatives. Sections 744 and 703(a)(xviii) would authorize a new FAA research and development program in support of single-pilot all-cargo operations utilizing remote-piloting or computer-piloting technology, and ALPA, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), want Congress to know how reckless passage of a bill with this provision would be.

Pilots are trained to operate an aircraft while interacting with air traffic control; communicating with Dispatch; checking current weather and forecasts; visually scanning for other aircraft; and monitoring engines, fuel, and other systems. In nonroutine situations, the workload on the flight deck can increase significantly in a short time period. Addressing these situations requires at least two well-trained, fully qualified pilots to communicate in real time without delay or the potential for a lost connection.

“ALPA adamantly opposes FAA Reauthorization Section 744 and will continue to use every resource we have to ensure that this anti-safety provision is not enacted,” said Captain Tim Canoll, ALPA president. “The inclusion of this unacceptable provision serves as an existential threat to aviation safety and security, the general public, and the airline piloting profession.”

“Cargo and passenger carriers operate the same high-performance jet aircraft, share the same congested airspace, and fly over the same densely populated areas. There’s no logical reason to apply different standards to each,” said Capt. Dan Carey, president of APA. “Given the threat posed by computer hacking and the accident rates for autonomous vehicles and military and civilian drones, it’s astonishing that policymakers would even consider this notion. APA is adamantly opposed to the language in Sections 744 and 703(a)(xviii), and we urge Congress to remove it to help preserve public safety.”

“This technology is neither mature, nor proven to a level of confidence capable of assuring a higher level of safety than that which can be attained by two highly qualified, highly trained professional airline pilots on the flight deck,” said Lee Collins, CAPA president. “Having the ability to do so in a lab under controlled circumstances does not mean we should do it in our national airspace system now or at any time in the future.”

“The Teamsters Union strongly opposes FAA Reauthorization Section 744, a dangerous provision that would put aviation safety in jeopardy. Aviation is the safest form of transportation thanks to the regulations and procedures that have been developed over the years, of which the two-person cockpit is a critical component. This provision poses serious risks to the lives of aviation professionals and the public, and we are committed to ensuring that it is not enacted,” said Capt. David Bourne, Teamsters Airline Division director.

“The safety of commercial aviation relies heavily on the experience and coordination of a crew to operate complex aircraft worldwide,” IPA President Robert Travis. “Anything less than two pilots physically in the cockpit will significantly increase risk, especially during emergency operations, when timely actions are coordinated and implemented by each crewmember based on real-time information. Our national aviation system and the general public below the flight paths of aircraft operating within that system cannot afford this unwarranted and unnecessary step backwards in safety.”

“The two-person flight deck model exists not for the sake of redundancy, but to promote safety through shared decision making and communication,” NJASAP President Pedro Leroux said. “Any effort to replace a pilot on the flight deck with unproven automation technology vulnerable to hacking and connectivity issues is an imprudent move that undermines the safety of the flying public, places an excessive burden on professional flight deck crewmembers, and jeopardizes the integrity of the national airspace system.”

“Air travel has never been safer. In fact, 2017 was the safest year in aviation history. Yet, the U.S. Congress is attempting to pass legislation that would allow operators to eliminate one of the most vital safety features of commercial aviation—two pilots in the cockpit. There is no doubt that two well-qualified and well-trained pilots operate as a team in the cockpit and are important contributors to our industry’s ever-improving safety record. We demand that Congress continue to protect the flying public and the crews that operate commercial aircraft by keeping two pilots in the cockpit. No amount of cost savings is worth putting people at risk,” said Capt. Jon Weaks, SWAPA president.

About the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 60,000 pilots at 34 airlines in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit alpa.org.

About the Allied Pilot Association
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Tex., APA serves as the certified collective bargaining agent for the 15,000 professional pilots who fly for American Airlines. APA was founded in 1963 and is the largest independent pilots’ union in the world. APA provides a broad range of representation services for its members and devotes more than 20 percent of its dues income to support aviation safety. For more information, visit alliedpilots.org.

About the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations
CAPA is a trade association representing more than 30,000 professional passenger and all-cargo pilots at carriers including American Airlines, UPS Airlines, ABX Air, Horizon Airlines, Southern Air, Silver Airways, Allegiant Air, Miami Air, Cape Air, Omni Air, Atlas Air, and Republic Airline. For more information, visit capapilots.org.

About the Independent Pilots Association
The IPA is the collective bargaining unit representing the more than 2,500 professional pilots who fly for United Parcel Service, the world’s largest transportation company. The IPA is headquartered in Louisville, Ky. For more information, visit ipapilot.org.

About the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women, including 90,000 members in aviation, throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

About the NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots
Founded in 2008 as an independent labor advocate, the NJASAP represents the professional interests of the 2,700-plus pilots who fly in the service of NetJets Aviation Inc. For more information, visit njasap.com.

About the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association
Headquartered in Dallas, Tex., SWAPA is a nonprofit employee organization and the sole bargaining unit for the more than 9,400 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA, now in its 40th year, works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights, and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information, visit swapa.org.

WestJet statement regarding ALPA strike authorization vote outcome

WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FNAX (msn 60511) YYC (Chris Sands). Image: 940862.

WestJet today issued the following statement regarding the outcome of the strike authorization vote put forth by the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) to WestJet pilots.

“We acknowledge the outcome of this vote and recognize the mandate WestJet pilots have given ALPA,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “We are certain our guests will appreciate that this update confirms their travel will be unaffected over the Victoria Day long weekend.”

Said Sims, “We remain at the negotiation table to drive a sustainable agreement, in the best interest of our pilots, 13,000 WestJetters and the 70,000 guests who fly with us daily.”

Copyright Photo: WestJet Airlines Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 C-FNAX (msn 60511) YYC (Chris Sands). Image: 940862.

WestJet aircraft slide show:

Frontier pilots say negotiations are at an impasse, ask NMB to impose deadline on talks

ALPA has issued this statement:

The union representing Frontier Airlines pilots has petitioned the federal government to release them from mediation, which could start the clock for a potential pilot strike 30 days later.

In a letter submitted to the National Mediation Board (NMB), the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) said it believes further mediation would be futile and requested that the NMB make a proffer of arbitration. If the NMB does so and either the union or the company declines arbitration, the two sides would enter a 30-day cooling-off period, after which time the parties would be free to engage in self-help—such as a strike by the pilots or a lockout by the company.

Frontier’s 1,200 pilots are the lowest-paid narrowbody pilots in the United States, with captain pay rates falling 40 percent below the industry average. They are the last pilots in the United States flying under a contract negotiated while their airline was in bankruptcy. Since the last contract was ratified in 2007, the Denver-based carrier has become one of the nation’s most profitable airlines.

ALPA’s letter to the NMB explains that management has engaged in bad-faith bargaining, continues to seek bankruptcy-like concessions, has offered below-average industry pay, and can be expected to continue to resist concluding an agreement without decisive action by the Board.

“Despite its industry-leading financial performance, Frontier Airlines has insisted upon a substantially discounted pilot contract,” said ALPA’s president, Capt. Tim Canoll. “The company has made it plain that it is unwilling to pay market rates, make industry-standard retirement contributions, or enter into job-security provisions that other companies accept and negotiate routinely. ALPA believes this dispute will only be resolved by proffering arbitration.”

In a strike-authorization vote taken last August, 100 percent of participating Frontier pilots gave their leadership the go-ahead to declare a legal strike at the conclusion of the cooling-off period if the NMB releases ALPA to self-help. The two sides have been in negotiations for more than two years and in federal mediation since November 2016. The two sides’ last mediation session concluded on April 20 with no further sessions scheduled.

“Frontier pilots have been working under the same contract for more than 10 years while our peers at other airlines have negotiated big increases with their companies,” said Capt. Tracy Smith, chairman of ALPA’s Frontier Airlines group. “We are absolutely unwilling to work at a discount when our airline pays market rates for fuel, aircraft, gates, and everything else. We demand a market-rate agreement and we are 100 percent ready to strike if that’s what it takes to get one.”

Photo: ALPA.

Frontier Airlines (2nd) aircraft slide show:

Delta pilots picket the shareholders meeting

Delta pilots picket (ALPA)(LRW)

ALPA released this statement:

Delta Air Line pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), conducted informational picketing at the Delta Shareholders Meeting, in NYC, to raise the sense of urgency in concluding the ongoing negotiations. It is time for Delta management and the Board of Directors to recognize the rising market for pilots and bring these negotiations to a timely conclusion.

Five months have passed since the contract’s amendable date; fifteen months since negotiations began and the Delta pilots are still awaiting a new agreement. ALPA and Delta jointly filed for mediation with the National Mediation Board on March 31, 2016. The union is committed to negotiations, and our goal remains a fair and reasonable contract this summer.

Delta Air Lines is highly profitable and remarkably successful. For the first quarter of 2016, Delta recorded a historic pre-tax income of $1.56 billion—nearly triple from the first quarter of 2015, the previous historic high for Delta. Delta’s recently released 8-K filing confirms it is time to reward the pilots for their commitment to the Company’s success. Delta has earned the “investment grade” designation; it is time that Delta recognized its pilots are “investment grade” and compensate them appropriately.

“All other stakeholders – management, the other employees, investors – have now been rewarded . . . except for the pilots. It is time for the Delta Board of Directors to acknowledge our investments in the corporation, address the rising market for pilots, ensure Delta will continue to be able to attract the best of the best and take the necessary steps to recognize the Delta pilots as equal business partners as we move forward together to write the next chapter in Delta’s story,” stated Captain John Malone, MEC chairman, in a recent Chairman’s Letter.

ALPA and Delta will continue negotiations under the guidance of the National Mediation Board, with the next mediation session scheduled later this month.

Photo: ALPA.

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United Airlines and ALPA reach a tentative agreement to extend the pilot contract

United Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38955 (msn 37814) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 930056.

United Airlines (Chicago) has announced that it has reached an Agreement in Principle with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for a contract extension covering the airline’s more than 12,000 pilots more than a year ahead of the amendable date of the current contract. The agreement is subject to a ratification process which includes final documentation, review, and consideration by the ALPA Master Executive Council.

United has joint collective bargaining agreements covering the majority of its represented employees and recently announced that it will open contract negotiations early for the airline’s ramp service and passenger service agents, storekeepers, load planners, maintenance and fleet technical instructors, and other groups represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The airline is also engaged in mediated negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants and recently announced an agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to put a proposed joint collective bargaining agreement out for ratification by the company’s technicians and related employees.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner N38955 (msn 37814) departs from Los Angeles International Airport.

United Airlines aircraft slide show (current livery): AG Airline Slide Show

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FedEx Express and its pilots agree to a new contract

FedEx Express (Memphis) and its pilots, represented by ALPA, have finalized a new contract.

ALPA issued this statement:

ALPA logo-2

The pilots of FedEx Express, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l. (ALPA), have approved a new contract agreement with FedEx management. The new agreement provides across-the-board increases to hourly pay rates and new-hire compensation, a significant signing bonus, retirement plan enhancements, work-rule improvements, and other positive modifications.

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300B4-622R (F) N686FE (msn 804) departs from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).

FedEx Express aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

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