In a letter sent today to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) offered high-impact policy solutions to inspire young people to become airline pilots and provide air service to small and rural communities while maintaining the extraordinary level of aviation safety that U.S. passengers and shippers expect and demand.
“No organization is more committed than the Air Line Pilots Association, International to ensuring we have enough qualified pilots in the United States to meet future demand,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s president. “With the right policies, the U.S. government can help inspire young people to become airline pilots while making certain that air transportation in this country remains the safest in the world.”
ALPA’s policy solutions are especially relevant this week as the Federal Aviation Administration hosts an Aviation Workforce Symposium in Washington, D.C.
The union’s clear and bold plan to address pilot supply includes key policy actions to
- make it easier for veterans to become pilots.
- encourage more women to become pilots.
- ensure more students can afford to become pilots.
- inspire the next generation to become pilots.
“Every one of our members has made the decision to become an airline pilot, which gives ALPA a unique understanding of what it takes to inspire the next generation of trained and qualified aviators to join the profession,” said Capt. Canoll.
For more than 30 years, ALPA has promoted the profession to a broad range of audiences. The union’s recent activities include
- visiting 24 universities over the 2017-18 academic year.
- formalizing 11 collegiate professional development/mentoring programs.
- reaching more than 15,500 preK-12 students during the 2017-18 academic year at elementary, middle, and high schools and at community events and museums.
- attending events such as AirVenture at Oshkosh, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals Annual Convention, the National Gay Pilots Association Industry Expo, and the Women in Aviation International Conference.
- establishing a scholarship program for students who are active in ACE Clubs and enrolled in aviation degree programs.
- launching, with others in the aviation industry, Aviation Works 4 U, a one-stop shop for exploring a career in aviation.
“We applaud Secretary Chao for leading this week’s symposium as part of an effort to bring more qualified pilots into the best profession in the world,” concluded Capt. Canoll. “Our union stands ready, willing, and able to work with anyone who is serious about addressing the pilot supply issue while keeping our passengers, crews, and cargo safe.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest airline pilot union, representing more than 60,000 pilots at 34 U.S. and Canadian airlines.
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