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News from ALPA International

July 17, 2009—In This Issue:

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CALL TO ACTION: Riled About Regional Airline Safety? Act Now!

You’ve seen issues surrounding regional airline safety raised in the news, on Capitol Hill, and at regulatory agencies. ALPA has been, and will continue to be, front and center in these discussions, representing you as the voice for airline pilots. Today, every voice in Washington, D.C., counts, and nothing says power like all 54,000 ALPA members sending D.C. decision-makers a strong, unified message.

Contact your federal legislators now, during ALPA’s Call to Action on Regional Airline Safety campaign, to deliver messages through e-mails, letters, and calls that hit legislators from the core—their constituents, the people who vote in their districts.

Use the Call to Action link, which can be found on under the Spotlight section, to send your messages directly to your House and Senate representatives. Choose from messages on pilot training and safety programs to urge legislators to support legislation that would improve airline safety. Or send a letter to your legislators asking them to support the FAA Administrator and the work of the ARC as it develops a change to the flight time and duty time regulations based on sound science. You also have the option to compose your own message. These issues aren’t new to pilots flying the line. You know firsthand the laundry list of items that need attention from Congress, the FAA, and U.S. airlines.

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ALPA, Other Labor Unions Push Back on Health Care Tax Proposal
White House, Key Congressional Members Support Our Position
Late last week, a senior White House official informed ALPA’s president Capt. John Prater and other union leaders that President Obama would not support taxing health care. The House version of health care reform does not contain this onerous provision.

ALPA lobbyists and other labor groups have been working behind the scenes urging congressional lawmakers and staff to back away from any proposal that would tax health care benefits. More than 5,000 ALPA members who responded to ALPA’s grassroots “Call to Action” on health care supported this effort. They wrote letters and placed phone calls to their respective senators and representatives opposing any legislation that would tax health plans. Several employer groups also joined labor groups to oppose taxing health care benefits.

ALPA has argued that taxing health care benefits would encourage employers to offer low-cost plans of inferior quality—or no coverage at all—to avoid paying taxes on health care benefits, adding even more Americans to the roster of the uninsured. Unions have much to lose in this fight, as many have agreed to lower salaries in order to preserve quality health care benefits. If the tax is approved, those health care plans would be in jeopardy.

(For more information, please click here.)

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Seven ALPA Pilots Chosen for FAA ARC
The FAA is undertaking a comprehensive review of flight-time and duty-time (FT/DT) regulations to better reflect current research on sleep, rest periods, and alertness. The next phase of the process in updating FT/DT rules is to convene an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), a group made up of representatives from labor, industry, and the FAA, who will draft the proposed changes. Seven ALPA pilots have been selected to participate in this endeavor.

ALPA’s executive administrator, Capt. Don Wykoff, will co-chair the ARC. Other pilots who will serve include Capt. Bill Soer (FDX), Capt. Darrel Cox (MSA), Capt. Greg Whiting (UAL), and Capt. Michael Hynes (CAL). Capt. Matt Rettig (EGL) and Capt. Peter Davis (ASA) will act as alternates.

These gentlemen will be crucial in helping other ARC participants understand the practical applications of the rules and the pilot perspective.

ALPA has long been a proponent of updating FT/DT regulations to better reflect the existing science. In a recent statement, ALPA president Capt. John Prater said, “Considering that the pilot flight-time and rest rules in use today were created more than 60 years ago, it becomes immediately clear that we need a swift and innovative approach to modernizing these standards.”

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Continental Pilots Optimistic About Future with Star Alliance
Continental pilots applaud the recent U.S. Department of Transportation announcement of final approval for Continental to join the existing antitrust immunized alliance with United and eight other Star Alliance carriers. As Continental transitions from the SkyTeam to the Star Alliance, this grant of immunity allows Continental to join and participate in the Star Alliance as an equal partner.

“We have supported the granting of antitrust immunity to help our airline remain competitive and are optimistic about the opportunity that this presents,” says Capt. Jay Pierce, Continental MEC chairman. “We look forward to capitalizing on the future benefits of Continental’s participation in the Star Alliance and its position as an immunized carrier. We believe this is a positive step for our carrier, our customers, and our pilots. However, the pilots, as essential partners, must benefit from the potential that immunity offers. For the partnerships and joint ventures proposed under this plan to succeed, pilots at the affected carriers must play a key role. We will not support any plan that does not recognize our contribution or attempts to pit one carrier’s pilots against another’s.”

Continental and United pilots have been coordinating efforts for nearly two years as the two carriers courted first a merger and now Continental’s entry into the Star Alliance as an immunized carrier. The support has also extended to cooperation during bargaining efforts, with both pilot groups currently in contract negotiations with their respective companies.

Pierce adds, “We will continue to work with the United pilots’ leadership as these partnerships are developed. It is in the best interest of both our pilot groups to ensure that adequate labor protections are included in these deals. United management’s actions in forming an alter ego airline (between Aer Lingus and United Airlines) have made us very aware of the lengths that they will go, at the expense of labor, to line their own pockets.”

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ALPA Attends Fourth Meeting of FAA’s Runway Safety Council
The FAA-sponsored Runway Safety Council (RSC), co-chaired by ALPA Executive Air Safety chairman Capt. Rory Kay (UAL) and FAA Director of Runway Safety Wes Timmons, met in Washington, D.C., on July 15. Council members reviewed current runway incursion statistical data, discussed the performance of the RSC to date, and heard recommendations from each of the represented organizations on the initiative’s way forward.

The members also discussed the performance and needs of the RSC’s Root Cause Analysis Team (RCAT), which was established to conduct in-depth studies of selected runway incursion events using a sophisticated, computerized analysis tool. The next meeting of the RSC is scheduled for September 2009.

In addition to ALPA, the council’s membership includes the FAA Office of Runway Safety, NATCA, ATA, RAA, AAAE, ACI, and AOPA.

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ALPA Hosts FAA Administrator at NextGen Institute Meeting
ALPA President Capt. John Prater and other members of the NextGen Institute Management Council (IMC) hosted FAA administrator Capt. J. Randolph Babbitt at the latest IMC meeting. The meeting provided a forum for key leaders from ALPA and other stakeholder organizations to discuss the status of NextGen programs and allow the administrator to hear industry’s concerns.

Babbitt told the group that he has had discussions with the Secretary of Transportation in hopes of accelerating implementation of RNAV/RNP approach procedures, use of ADS-B, and several airport surface movement projects. He charged the group with continuing to find ways to “speak with one voice” as the best approach to keep the movement toward NextGen on track.

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TSA Pilots to Picket Washington Dulles
The Trans States MEC and SPC will conduct informational picketing at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, July 26. Pilots from other airlines are encouraged to participate. The event is designed to protest the glacial pace of TSA contract negotiations and the regressive bargaining tactics used by TSA management.

TSA pilots have endured a substandard contract for more than nine years; their pay, benefits, work rules, and job security are inferior to those of pilots at comparable airlines.

Immediately after the picketing, TSA pilots and their families will participate in a Family Awareness event at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, which is adjacent to the airport. Please RSVP for the museum visit by July 22 to Transportation will be provided from Richmond International Airport (RIC).

A briefing will be given before the picketing event at 10 a.m. in the Reagan/Dulles Meeting Room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 2200 Centreville Road in Herndon Va. Click here for more details.

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Latest Issue of Flight Path Available
Click here to review the latest issue of Flight Path, the newsletter of the ALPA Furloughed Pilots Support Program.

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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” on the left side of the page, and from there, you’ll be instructed how to make the necessary changes.

If you don’t have access to, 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
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