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Episode 8: Fostering a Pilot Union: A Conversation with ALPA's Professional Development Group Leaders
Within the United States, the vast majority of airline pilots have organized themselves into unions, which collectively represent and bargain with each airline’s management regarding work rules, pay, and other elements of working life. The largest and arguably most well known of these unions is the Air Line Pilots Association, International, or ALPA. Joining the podcast are four leaders from ALPA’s national-level Professional Development Group for a conversation about the union, its role in the industry, and what the union is doing in these turbulent times. ALPA’s national-level Professional Development Group, which is led by ALPA’s Vice President of Administration, Capt. Bill Couette, is tasked with enhancing the professional development and well-being of all current and future ALPA pilots by promoting, fostering, supporting, and securing a sustainable career path.
Joining the podcast today are:
First Officer Kandy Bernskoetter serves as the National Membership Chair for ALPA, which represents 59,000 plus pilots at 35 airlines across the United States and Canada. She is a First Officer on the Boeing 777 for FedEx, and currently serves as an appointed member to the Secretary of Transportation's Women in Aviation Advisory Board.
Captain David Farmer serves as the National Leadership Committee Chair, which engages in training and mentorship for local Council, Master Executive Council officers, and national committee leaders. He is currently an Airbus A330 Captain for Delta Air Lines, and has over 30 years of service as an ALPA volunteer across all levels of the organization.
First Officer Justin Dahan is a member of ALPA's Education Committee and the liaison to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, which helps foster the next generation of ALPA members at universities and flight schools around the United States. He currently flies the Boeing 757 for FedEx and has worked with ALPA from his time as a student at ERAU, to a regional airline, and now to his current role.
First Officer Camila Turrieta is Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which works to engage the industry and organization toward becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for all. She currently flies the Airbus A320 series for JetBlue and has extensive experience as a volunteer for Women in Aviation, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, and the Latino Pilots Association.
More information about ALPA and its mission can be found by visiting www.alpa.org. The organization can be found on social media by following @wearealpa on Twitter and @we_are_alpa on Instagram. ALPA also hosts its own podcast series, Flying the Line. More information for students or those interested in a career in aviation, can visit clearedtodream.org, which has more information about the pathway to a pilot career.