Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

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

International aviation news

ATR launches a short take-off and landing aircraft 

Turboprop manufacturer ATR is developing a short take-off and landing (STOL) version of its ATR-42-600. 

FlightGlobal reports that ATR (jointly owned by Airbus and Leonardo) is scheduled to begin deliveries of the aircraft in the second half of 2022. 

ATR says the aircraft will be capable of operating from 800m paved runways with 40 passengers in standard meteorological conditions for 200nm missions, as opposed to the 1,050m lower runway limit for the non-STOL variant, according to FlightGlobal

The new aircraft will feature a larger rudder, an option to symmetrically deploy spoilers on landing and an autobrake system to ensure full braking on touchdown.

There are believed to be around 500 airports around the world with runways between 800-1000 metres. 

Read more HERE.


United Airlines pilot recruitment 

United Airlines is launching a new pilot recruitment programme and career website which it says will offer more opportunities and the fastest paths to becoming a first officer or captain.

It says the programme's structured career pathways offer pilots at all stages of their journey – from college training to regional airline flying – the most direct path to flying for United, as well as the quickest progression from college to the rank of first officer of any major airline programme in the industry. Due to retirements, attrition and projected growth, the company anticipates hiring more than 10,000 pilots over the next 10 years. 

United expects almost half of its 12,500 pilots will retire in the next decade. Those retirements and strong growth in the airline have led to the recruitment drive. 

Successful applicants will receive a conditional job offer from United as well as coaching and development.

Read more HERE.


Airline collapses demonstrate industry fragility 

The Thomas Cook collapse and other European airline failures demonstrate the fragile nature of the aviation industry, according to the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA).

The AirlineRatings.com website quotes IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac attributing the fragility to high margins, financial and economic risk, increases in labour and infrastructure expenses, uncertainty about oil prices and softening demand. 

Read more HERE.


IFALPA calls for new guidance on drones

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and its global aviation industry partners are calling for standards and guidance on unauthorised drone operations. 

The call for action was in a paper presented at the recent 40th International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly in Canada. 

The paper represented the views of IFALPA and ACI World, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

The ICAO Assembly supported the working paper, recognising the safety risks associated with unauthorised drones close to commercial aircraft and airports, and noted the offer from industry to help draft suitable guidance material. 

Read more HERE.


What really brought down the Boeing 737 MAX? 

The New York Times has published a lengthy feature on the malfunctions that caused the two deadly Boeing 737 MAX crashes. 

The article, which appeared in the newspaper’s Sunday Magazine in September, extensively backgrounds the two flights and subsequent events. 

It also backgrounds the growing automation of aircraft and the implications of this for pilots and pilot training.

Meanwhile Boeing has stripped Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg of his role as chairman. 

A statement from the board of the aircraft manufacturer said that while it had full confidence in its Chief Executive, splitting the roles of chairman and Chief Executive “will enable Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing's customers around the world, and implement changes to sharpen Boeing's focus on product and services safety.” 

Australian Aviation reports that Boeing sales are suffering, with deliveries down by almost 50 per cent so far in 2019. The company delivered 302 commercial aircraft in the nine months to September 2019, down from 568 in the same period last year. It had earlier forecast 900 deliveries in 2019. 

Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.


Southwest pilots file lawsuit

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) has filed a lawsuit against Boeing, alleging the plane manufacturer “deliberately misled” the airline and its pilots about the 737 MAX aircraft, according to a Reuters report. 

The news website reports that Southwest is the largest operator of the 737 MAX and had 34 of the aircraft in its fleet when they were grounded and another 41 more on order.

The lawsuit alleges that Boeing “abandoned sound design and engineering practices, withheld safety critical information from regulators and deliberately misled its customers, pilots and the public about the true scope of design changes to the 737 MAX.”

Reuters reports Boeing has responded indicating it believes “this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it.” 

In a letter to its members, SWAPA referred to loss of trust and the significant financial impact the grounding has had on pilots, and its discussions with Boeing on these points.

“Unfortunately, despite our efforts, Boeing has not responded with any concrete financial proposals to address the concerns of SWAPA pilots. Boeing has simply left us with no viable choice but to pursue litigation, and we intend to hold Boeing accountable for their actions.” 

SWAPA told members its legal action does not mean it won’t support flying the Boeing 737 MAX once it is authorised to return to service. “This is purely a legal matter to protect SWAPA pilots from some of the loss of income you have endured since the grounding of the plane.”

Read more HERE and HERE.


Stuck for a Christmas present for an aviation enthusiast? 

Choosing a Christmas present for an aviation enthusiast just got a whole lot easier. Lufthansa has almost completely upcycled an entire A340-600 aircraft as well as equipment used in it – turning it all into interesting household items. 

CNN reports that items include coffee tables, wall bars, window wall clocks as well as the more everyday keyrings, gym bags and toiletry bags. 

Around 92 per cent of the aircraft was used in the project.

Read more HERE.


IATA campaigning for more women in aviation 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a campaign to get more women employed in aviation, with a particular focus on under-represented areas such as pilots and senior executives. 

Called 25by2025, the campaign aims to increase the number of women in senior and under-represented positions (e.g. pilots and operations) by 25 per cent or to minimum representation of 25 per cent by 2025, and to report annually on key diversity metrics. 

China Eastern, Lufthansa Group and Qatar Airways have already signed up to the 25by2025 campaign.

There is currently no comprehensive airline industry-wide gender diversity statistical report. However, with women representing around five per cent of the global pilot population and three per cent of Chief Executives, IATA says the gender imbalance in the industry is clear. 

IATA is also making the following commitments:

Increasing the representation of women in IATA's senior management (directors and above) from the current 19 per cent to at least 25 per cent by 2025 

Working with member airlines to increase the number of women they appoint to IATA governance roles from the current 17 per cent to a minimum of 25 per cent by 2025 

Ensuring that the number of women participating as panellists/speakers at IATA conferences is a minimum of 25 per cent by 2025 

Creating a forum for sharing diversity and inclusion initiatives and best practices throughout the industry and publishing annual industry statistics on gender diversity. 

In the September issue of Uplink we reported that NZALPA has been invited to join IFALPAs’ Female Pilots’ Working Group, which is tasked with assisting IFALPA and its member associations to represent female pilots. 

Earlier this year Air New Zealand was awarded the inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Team Award at the 2019 IATA annual general meeting in Seoul, Korea. 

Read more HERE and HERE.



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