Montreal 72nd IFALPA Conference

This year, the 72nd IFALPA Conference was held in Montreal from 5-8 May. The AFAP was represented by President David Booth, Aviation Legal Counsel Joseph Wheeler, Safety and Technical Officer Marcus Diamond, VPF Chairman George Kailis and Helicopter Pilot Federation Council Chairman Matt Nielsen.

The following are excerpts from IFALPA Conference Daily News. The original versions can be found here.


Day one of the conference was the Global Pilots’ Symposium (GPS). 

Captain KC Mueller (ALPA-UAL-ASAP-USA) served as morning MC and kicked off the GPS with a few words of welcome and the introduction of IFALPA President Captain Ron Abel.

IFALPA President Captain Ron Abel began with a heartfelt thanks and acknowledgement of the importance of GPS. Addressing the symposium theme of change in the aviation industry, Captain Abel appealed to the "...thought leaders in our industry, to guide these changes." He called upon pilot leaders to think about their associations' goals, and to make them a reality through negotiation, appropriate representation, advocacy, and promotion of the highest standards of safety and security.

Guest speaker Karen Walker, Editor-in-Chief of Air Transport World delivered the keynote speech.  Walker provided a bit of history about ATW and her role as an editor. The keynote address also enumerated some challenges to airlines today: sustainable profitability, eco-operations and environmental issues, air traffic congestion, among others. She discussed social media and offered up some journalistic expertise on social media best practices.

Thursday morning wrapped up with a GPS Panel - Unity in Collaboration in the Global Context. The panel was moderated by Captain Gary Russell (ACPA-AC-ASAP-CAN) and featured two distinguished guests: Milt Isaacs, CEO of Air Canada's Pilot Association and Hassan Yussuff, President, Canadian Labour Congress.

Ambassador Duane Woerth opened the afternoon programing at GPS on the topic of Atypical Employment Practices. Ambassador Woerth's speech, though humorous and eloquent, served as a sobering reminder of the dangers of flags of convenience and the new business models in the aviation industry.

The symposium featured an Atypical Employment Panel Discussion featuring:

  • Captain Don Wykoff, Former IFALPA President
  • First Officer Tim Robinson, President of New Zealand ALPA
  • Captain Glen Smith, Chief Negotiator for South Africa ALPA
  • Captain Jim Phillips, ECA Industrial Working Group Chairman


Saturday comprised of regional meetings, elections for regional officers, regional information, Plenary, and a pre-gala dinner reception.

Hundreds of pilot leaders followed the morning Plenary session. Guest speaker from the government of Quebec, Marie Josée Blais, Assistant Deputy Minister for Science and Innovation and Aref Salem, Montreal City Councillor responsible for Transportation, opened plenary after a kind introduction from Captain Ron Abel.

The President's Report to Plenary and the Annual Report of the Executive Officers caught attendees up on what has been achieved over the past twelve months and current hot topics. Details of the presentation topics can be found in Conference Daily News.

The Conference Committees each met in the afternoon to review the proposed IPs to be voted upon on Monday.

Special guest speaker, The Honourable Marc Garneau, Canadian Transport Minister graciously agreed to speak at Plenary. He addressed some key issues being discussed at IFALPA this year including drone use, laser strikes, pilot fatigue, and aerodrome security measures. 


The day consisted of Standing Committee Chairmen’s Meeting and Plenary.

A representative from each sponsor gave a presentation to the group, providing updates, information and plans for the future.

This year’s sponsors were: 

  • Boeing – Captain Mark Feuerstein
  • Airbus – Captain Harry Nelson
  • Bombardier – Captain Mark Elliot
  • Embraer – Captain Yan Souza de Abreu
  • CAE – Captain Frank Collins
  • NAV CANADA – Mr. Larry Lachance
  • Runway Safe – Mr. Marc Klein


The final day’s Plenary began at 9.00, with an agenda consisting of; opening remarks, housekeeping, presentation of report from regional meetings, Conference Committee Chairmen Reports , Future Conference Venues and Presentations , Elections for 2017-2019 Term, Presentations of Appreciation and a Close of Conference.

The Monday Plenary consisted of three panel presentations and discussions.

Captain Robert "Rip" Torn, Chairman of the ATS Committee and Captain Mike Hynes, RVP NAT, presented on ATS-related issues including Loss of Separation and Phraseology. The ATS Committee called for a Conference Statement regarding Phraseology.

Captain Tanja Harter, Chairman of the HUPER Committee presented on Pilot Assistance along with a panel comprised of:

  • Dr. Ansa Jordaan, Chief of the Aviation Medicine Section, ICAO
  • Captain Cal Purves, Director of Flight Operations, Jazz Aviation
  • Captain Murray Munro, Pilot Assistance Group Chair, ALPA Canada
  • Captain Paul Reuter, Technical Affairs Board Director, ECA

Captain Jack Netskar, EVP PGA presented on Flags of Convenience with a panel including:

  • Captain Tim Robinson, President, NZALPA
  • Captain Daniel Bianco, Newly-elected RVP SAM/South
  • Captain Jim Phillips, VC Germany

The goal of the MASA (Multilateral Air Service Agreements) Working Group is to prevent an undesirable output resulting from the ICAO ATRP, or, ideally, develop a desired output that supports the global pilot community. 

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