WASHINGTON: The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the
Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) are communicating contradictory
messages on security issues.
"I think this is a subject where a large part of everybody's message is
virtually the same, but of course, there are differences and nuances
about how to handle things," said John Mazor, an ALPA spokesman.
One point of disagreement involves whether or not pilots should be
armed, which the ALPA, representing 67,000 members, supports. Both
groups testified in front of at US House of Representatives aviation
subcommittee on the issue.
"The pilots have enough responsibility flying the aircraft safely," said
Dawn Deeks, AFA spokeswoman. "We would rather see an increase of fly
marshals on board." The AFA represents 49,000 flight attendants across
The ALPA has also been working with the National Crime Prevention
They are trying to rally industry support for a public information
campaign under the motto "security is everybody's business." "We've had
limited success so far," Mazor admitted. Deeks said the AFA was not
interested in pursuing that sort of campaign at this time.
There are many areas of common ground for the organizations, including
support for reinforced cockpits and better safety training flight
Duane Woerth, ALPA president, and Patricia Friend, AFA president, have
been key spokespeople. Both serve on the Department of Transportation's
rapid response team on aircraft security.
Friend is currently taking road trips to hub cities and talking to
members about their concerns. Woerth has appeared on Good Morning
America and other news programs to discuss cockpit safety.