Release #08.046
September 25, 2008

Pilots Raise the Bar on Runway Safety
ALPA challenges airline industry, government to eliminate serious runway incursions altogether

WASHINGTON – Capt. John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, set the bar high for runway safety today, challenging both government and industry to establish a goal of zero serious runway incursions involving commercial airliners in his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation.

“Today, I pledge that ALPA will stay on guard until we reach that goal,” said Prater. “Because when it comes to runway safety, complacency is not an option.”

Prater discussed solutions involving procedures and training, as well as new technologies, highlighting action items that government and airline industry stakeholders should take to improve the safety of the traveling public. These solutions include better markings and signage at the nation’s airports, standardized operating procedures, and standardized phraseology consistent with that of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“Although advanced technologies hold the most promise for helping our industry reach the eventual goal of zero serious runway incursions, they do little to address it in the near term due to funding challenges—especially in the already-strapped-for-cash airline industry,” Prater said.

For more information about runway incursions and possible solutions, visit the “Hold Short for Runway Safety” Web site:

To read Captain Prater’s oral testimony, click here.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit

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ALPA Contacts: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, 703/481-4440 or