IFALPA - International Federation of Airline Pilots
The following is an outline of the history and function of IFALPA, clicking on any of the topics will take you directly to that section:
Shortly after World War 2 the United Nations Organisation came into being and soon gave birth to several specialised agencies, one of which was the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The fact that ICAO was to make decisions on Aviation Policy without pilot representation immediately began to interest several pilots’ Associations.
The airline Pilots began to realise that they were citizens of the world in many respects; their daily work took them across the boundaries of many countries, and they were often dependant upon distant Municipalities or States to provide them with the facilities necessary for their personal safety and that of their passengers. They became therefore, vitally concerned with national and international affairs related to aviation.
The effective disappearance of national boundaries for the air transport Industry created problems as well as benefits and the airline pilot, being a centre point, saw himself in need of an international body to promote and safeguard his interests. This was the reason for the birth of IFALPA. The inaugural meeting was held in London in 1948 and was attended by the representatives of 13 pilot Associations, founder members as they are now called, and of which Ireland was one. Today IFALPA numbers over 90 Member Associations and represents in excess of 100,000 pilots.
IFALPA is a non-profit, non –political organisation with the core aim of advancing aviation safety and achieving a single level of safety and security worldwide and to provide support, services and representation to its Member Associations.
As an international organisation IALPA’s principal task is to deal with matters that affect international civil aviation.
Where its successes are noticeable are in the implementation of national airworthiness codes and operational procedures rather than in the headlines of the International Press. It is held with high regard by those specialist agencies with whom it has to deal. This is all the more remarkable because all representatives, from delegates to Principal Officers are unpaid volunteers, in all instances, carrying out their work in their free time, frequently using their annual leave to do so. Despite this IFALPA has kept pace with its mandate and effectively represents its members at every level of discussion to which it applies itself.
Matters that affect only the domestic business of a Pilots Association are not generally dealt with by IFALPA, although the Federations policies may contain advice and assistance on such domestic matters.
It is worth noting however, that because the majority of States are members of ICAO, membership of IFALPA gives a Member Association an additional opportunity to influence its own government’s actions. The Associations can influence what IFALPA says to ICAO, and hence what ICAO says to its member States.
The Federation is invited regularly to be represented at a wide range of meetings of other international organisations. In addition to ICAO the following organisations represent a typical example of the depth of IFALPA involvement in the international arena. This list is not exclusive.
In Montreal the IFALPA representative to ICAO has a role distinct from that of other staff members, in that his primary function is that of Permanent IFALPA observer on the ICAO Air Navigation Commission (ANC). In this capacity he is able to play a major part in implementing the Federations policies by influencing the development of ICAO Standards and Recommendations Practices within the ANC.
The basic components of the IFALPA organizational structure are
There are two types of Conference, Special and Annual. Special conferences are rare and have only been called three times in the Federations history. They can be called by any Member Association on topics of extreme urgency. Annual Conference is usually attended by up to 350 delegates from Member Associations and Observer organisations.
The Annual Conference is the main event of the IFALPA yearly calendar. Conference is the main policy-making body of the Federation. The event is normally hosted by a Member Association but is administered from the IFALPA Headquarters.
All Member Associations are entitled to be represented at Conference and to speak and vote. They can collectively make any decision about any aspect of the Federation’s constitution or operation. It is here that the past years work is reviewed, guidelines for future studies are determined, policies are reviewed and updated the budget is approved and the Officers are elected. Conference has the ultimate authority within the Federation.
The location of each years Conference is agreed on by vote and any potential host Member Association will start planning more than two years ahead.
In excess of 100,00 pilots in over 90 Member Associations are currently in IFALPA Membership.
Pilot Associations join IFALPA to become part of a worldwide pilots federation because it has a voice in all of the world’s major aviation forums. They participate in specialist IFALPA Committees to contribute, learn and understand different aspects of aviation, to help formulate policies and positions. The Federation also works with other international organisations to exchange views and to share problems.
IFALPA expects its Member Associations to use their utmost endeavours to represent all airline pilot groups in their country in a single national organisation and to appoint an “IFALPA Director” as the main point of contact with IFALPA. Member Associations are expected to become as active as possible in IFALPA activities, especially at meetings and Conferences.
Member Associations agree to:
Between conferences, six Principal Officers (PO) supervise the activities of the Federation.
The Principal Officers are responsible for the day to day running of the Federation, or for making decisions as necessary affecting the implementation of policy and for interpreting and applying the Constitution and Bye Laws.
The Principal Officers are elected for a two-year period of office, with half of the positions being open for re-election each year. Once elected, they are expected to act collectively on behalf of all Member Associations in the best interests of the Federation and to uphold the Constitution of the Federation. They should not act as delegates or representatives of their own Association, nor should they hold any post of great responsibility within their own Association.
The Principal Officers responsibilities are divided to cover the following disciplines.
The Deputy President supervises the activities of the Accident Analysis Committee and Dangerous Goods Committee.
PVP TECH supervises the activities of the Aircraft Design and Operation, Aerodrome Ground Environment, Air Traffic Services and Helicopter Committees.
PVP PA supervises the activities of Industrial and Security Committees and the Industrial Advisors.
PVP M&R supervises the Human Performance Committee and the activities of the Regional Vice Presidents.
PVP A& F supervises the activities of the Legal Committee and Subscription/ Bye laws, Administration, Membership Policy and Insurance Committee.
In addition with Liasing regularly with the secretariat on an individual basis, the Principal Officers hold Principal Officers Meetings four times a year. The first meeting each year is held in January, the second in conjunction with the Annual Conference, the third in June or July and the fourth in October.
IFALPA has divided the world into 20 geographical regions. A Regional Vice President (PVP) is responsible for the promotion and development of IFALPA objectives and with assisting the implementation of IFALPA policy within their respective regions. RVPs also assist with bringing new Member Associations into membership of IFALPA.
RVPs are elected by Conference for a two-year term and are responsible for technical, industrial, membership and general Federation activities in their region.
To determine draft policy or carry out assignments given by Conference or POs, fifteen specialist groups or Standing Committees have been established. Standing Committees are required to
A Principal Officer supervises the activities of these Committees.
There are currently eleven IFALPA Standing Committees.
The Chairmen of these committees are Officers of the Federation and are elected for a two-year term of office.
International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations
Tel. +44 1932 571 711
The IFALPA intranet site was launched in 1998 and to date has attracted over 1,000,00 visitors. IFALPA Intranet 2 was launched in May 2000 and contains all of the Federations current documentation in electronic format. (Access to the Intranet is via the member’s button on the home page and is by invitation only.) The latest safety Bulletins issued by IFALPA along with details of forthcoming meetings, job-search facilities and details of loss of licence insurance. The IFALPA website can be accessed through the following addresses;