The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) has awarded Representative Rick Larsen its top legislative honor, Pilot Partisan of the Year. The award was presented during ALPA’s 10th annual Legislative Summit, where nearly 200 pilot volunteers met with lawmakers and their staff to discuss the importance of maintaining America’s gold standard of safety and preventing foreign airline business schemes that undermine labor rights, safety, and the competitiveness of the U.S. airline industry.
ALPA recognized Ranking Member Larsen for his steadfast commitment to aviation safety and advocating for the aviation workforce. Through his leadership position, including serving as Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation for four years, Larsen advanced the interests of workers through his advocacy for a worker-first Payroll Support Program and cosponsored the Fair and Open Skies Act to protect the rights of U.S. workers in international aviation. Larsen has also been a staunch advocate for maintaining rigorous pilot-training requirements as Congress developed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization legislation.
During the Legislative Summit, ALPA pilots also encouraged lawmakers to protect aviation safety advancements included in the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010 as work continues on the upcoming FAA reauthorization.
“ALPA is advancing a pilot-partisan agenda. Our issues aren’t Republican or Democratic; they’re pilot partisan,” said Capt. Jason Ambrosi, ALPA president. “As our industry continues its strong recovery, ALPA pilots have never been more committed to ensuring airlines provide safe and reliable air transportation. This means maintaining the gold standard of aviation safety that makes the United States the global leader in air transportation. As this country’s lawmakers work on the 2023 FAA reauthorization, pilot production is up, the passenger fatality rate is down, and our skies are the safest in the world—and our goal is to ensure that continues.”
Many provisions included in the landmark safety legislation have raised the bar for U.S. aviation, improving pilot qualification, experience, and training requirements, implementation of safety management systems with enhanced voluntary safety reporting programs, and pilot training for high-altitude operations, flight in adverse weather, and stall prevention and recovery, as well as science-based flight, duty, and rest requirements.