This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine for Friday, January 18, 2002.
The Vice President’s Department is pleased to announce that a settlement agreement has been reached with American Airlines relating to the Presidential Grievances filed late last year on Article 16 – Reduction in Force; and Appendix F – Partnership Flying, as well as the issue surrounding the furlough of Probationary Flight Attendants. This HotLine will beupdated on Tuesday evening once the APFA Board of Directors has been briefed. Details will also be available Tuesday on the APFA website.
Under the Aviation Security Act, the FAA was mandated to provide guidelines to Air Carriers on new security training for crewmembers. This training needed to address the new threat and revised “Common Strategy”. The deadline for this guidance was today, January 18th. APFA, APA, and other industry and law enforcement experts, worked diligently with the FAA to establish these guidelines. Now that the guidelines have been established, American has 60 days to provide the FAA with a training program for its review. Upon FAA acceptance, American will have 180 days to train all crewmembers, accordingly. APFA has stressed to the Company the need for joint flight attendant/pilot training and the need for pre-flight briefings for the crew. Both of these aspects are included in the FAA guidelines.
Also under the Aviation Security Act, carriers are required to x-ray all checked bags and cargo by today, January 18th. Airports that are unable to comply with the deadline have several alternatives such as: a positive bag match, a manual search of all bags or the use of canines for explosive detection. No later than December 31, 2002, all checked bags must be screened by explosion detection systems. These systems are in limited supply but should be available by the required deadline.
APFA President John Ward, APFA Vice President Jeff Bott, and National Safety Coordinator Kathy Lord-Jones met with AA Senior Vice President of Maintenance and Engineering, Dan Huffman, last week for an update on the investigation of the crash of Flight 587. As you know, APFA was granted party status by the NTSB along with the FAA, APA and other interested parties immediately following the crash. We were advised that composite experts were being hired by the Company to further advise AA independent of the NTSB’s investigation. APFA was assured that follow-up meetings and briefings would be held. The NTSB has performed a series of tests on the vertical stabilizer and rudder of AA 587. Some delamination was noted but it is unsure at this time if the delamination was caused by impact or prior to impact. Further tests are scheduled on these systems.
As noted in recent news articles, it has been established and confirmed that the A-300 aircraft blown back on its tail prior to AA’s delivery was tail #51 and not tail #53, the 587 aircraft. AA and Airbus have done extensive inspections on this aircraft and have found no evidence of damage to its tail and rudder sections.
President Bush has named John W. Magaw as the new Under Secretary of Transportation for Security. He will be responsible for all aviation, ground and maritime transportation security issues. This appointment is part of the Aviation Transportation Security Act of 2001. APFA looks forward to the opportunity to work with Mr. Magaw in an effort to highlight areas of aviation security that continue to be of concern to our membership.
Rumors have been circulating regarding the issue of recall rights for furloughed flight attendants who were on probation at the time of furlough. Per the contract, furloughed flight attendants, including probationers, have recall rights for a period of five years. For more information, please consult Article 15 and Article 16 of the contract. On a side note, the Company has informed APFA that they will not extend partnership flying when the existing partnerships expire at the end of the January contractual month.
Increased flexibilities for deadheading Flight Attendants are now being offered on a one-year trial basis. Flight Attendants with a scheduled deadhead may request to waive their scheduled deadhead on origination or termination, with Crew Schedule approval, to a base city, satellite, or co-terminal. More information can be found on the February bid sheet or by calling the APFA Scheduling desk at Headquarters, extension 8161.
AMR announced a fourth quarter loss this week of $734 million dollars compared with earnings of $56 million for the same period last year. The company cited reduced traffic and lower fares as the primary reason for the loss. AMR also announced that they will begin new daily JFK-Tokyo service on April 19th and a second DFW-Tokyo flight three days a week beginning June 1 of this year.
Willingness-to-Serves were due today for APFA AdHoc Positions 1 and 2. None were received in the designated post office box, however, if you are still interested in applying for this position, you may submit your Willingness-to-Serve, which was included in your last Skyword, to either the National Balloting Committee or the APFA Secretary no later than the first day of the APFA Annual Convention – February 18, 2002.
APFA is working to index the new APFA contract. Once the work is finalized, American Airlines will print and distribute the new contract. APFA anticipates that this project will be completed by February, and we will keep you posted.
Thank you for calling the APFA HotLine. This HotLine will be updated on Tuesday, January 22, 2002.