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The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

International News

‘Go around’: Air Canada jet ignores air traffic control

Stuff reported that the US Federal Aviation Administration is investigating why an Air Canada passenger plane ignored repeated orders by air traffic control at San Francisco International Airport to abort a landing.

After landing safely, the plane reported a radio problem and Air Canada subsequently said the cockpit never received the orders.

The incident involved Air Canada Flight 781 from Montreal, an Airbus A320 that was given initial clearance to land when it was about 10 kilometres from the airport, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said. The cockpit acknowledged the instruction.

But air traffic control then issued multiple orders for the jet to “go around” because it believed another plane may have been in the runaway, Gregor said in a statement.

The instruction was met with silence, according to the audio clip.

The air traffic control supervisor then used a flashing “red light gun” shined out from the control tower windows toward the plane to alert the crew to go around, Gregor said. Doing so is a standard procedure.

“After landing, the Air Canada crew told the tower they had a radio problem,” Gregor said.  He said the FAA was investigating.

Read the full Stuff story >

Air Force can recall up to 1000 retired pilots under new executive order

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday that will allow the Air Force to address what the Pentagon says is a serious pilot shortage, Mercury News reported.

The order amending a post-9/11 emergency declaration will allow the Air Force to recall pilots from retirement.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Gary Ross, says the Air Force is currently short approximately 1,500 pilots.

Under current law, the Air Force is limited to recalling 25 pilots. The order removes that cap for the Air Force, as well as other branches of the military.

Ross says the Secretary of Defense is expected to allow the Secretary of the Air Force to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years.

Read the full Mercury News story >

British Airways, cabin crew settle dispute

Air Transport World reported that one of the longest-running industrial disputes in UK aviation history has been resolved, after British Airways (BA) cabin crew voted to accept a pay increase.

The dispute, which began in December 2016 and led to more than 80 days of strikes of steadily increasing length, involved mixed fleet staff, who work on both short-  and long-haul services from London Heathrow airport. Mixed fleet staff makes up around 15% of BA’s cabin crew.

At the outset of the industrial action BA said mixed fleet staff typically earned £21,000-£27,000 ($27,800-$35,700) annually. The Unite trade union disputed this, saying salaries were as low as £12,000, plus £3 an hour flying pay, taking the total to around £16,000.

While the pay demands were largely resolved by mid-2017, union members refused to return to work because of what they described as sanctions by BA against strikers, including removal of staff travel benefits.

Unite said Oct. 31 that members had overwhelmingly voted to accept a pay deal that would give them salary increases of £1,404 to £2,908 ($1,862 to $3,859) by March 2018.

The deal also saw travel concessions and entitlements to fully participate in the airline’s 2017 bonus scheme returned to cabin crew who took industrial action.

“A great deal of credit should go to Unite members and their shop stewards in British Airways’ mixed fleet for their determination and solidarity in securing this settlement,” Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said.

Read the full Air Transport World story >

Alaska, Virgin America pilots’ pay increases under joint contract

Air Transport World reported that Alaska Airlines and Virgin America pilots began working under a new, joint labour contract on 1 November, following a binding arbitration ruling that settled pay and benefits issues. The contract with Seattle-based Alaska Air Group, which is in the process of merging Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, lasts until April 1, 2020. Alaska Air Group acquired San Francisco-based Virgin America for $2.6 billion in cash and $1.4 billion in assumed debt in late 2016.

Read the full Air Transport World story >

Six big trends in aviation – a glimpse into the crystal ball

Stuff reported that Aviation think tank CAPA – Centre for Aviation executive chairman Peter Harbison delivered his insights into the six big trends to look out for in the aviation sector in the region. He was speaking at November’s CAPA Asia Aviation Summit in Singapore.

He commented on fuel, Southeast Asia as the “competitive battlefront”, North Asia and China as a region that continues to lag behind others and remains constrained by lack of liberalism, while the growth profile for China remains “astonishing”. He also comments on the future of long haul low cost carriers and new narrowbody aircraft, superconnectors losing steam and the technology disruption we can expect in the coming years.

Read the full Stuff story >

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