|ASF Jumpseat Council: Captain’s
Authority, Collaboration, and Professionalism are Essential
In the constantly changing
world of airline mergers, shutdowns, and shifting regional
alliances, ALPA maintains one overriding concept when it
comes to jumpseating: the captain alone should make the
final decision on who sits in the cockpit jumpseat.
Authority was a focus when ALPA’s Jumpseat chairs, joined by
Jumpseat volunteers from 25 non-ALPA carriers and five
nations, convened at the Association’s 59th Air Safety
“Our top priority is keeping
the cockpit secure, keeping the captain in control of that
access, and getting people home,” said ALPA’s Jumpseat
Council chair, First Officer Rich Odbert.
But with industry
partnerships seemingly realigning every day, it’s
increasingly difficult to determine who should get jumpseat
priority, especially when heavy passenger loads make it more
and more difficult to get a seat in the cabin.
Jumpseat chairs discussed
how to make the process fairer, and how to instill
professionalism in a new generation of pilots who may be
unfamiliar with jumpseat protocols.
“We need to educate our
pilots again, especially right now with loads so full,” said
American Eagle Jumpseat chair First Officer Robert Bowlin.
“It’s not nonrevving or riding on your own carrier—you are
considered an additional crewmember. You need to look and
act the part.”
A delegation from the FAA
and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association urged
captains to take advantage of the FAA’s recent decision to
reinstate cockpit familiarization flights for air traffic
Allowing controllers to observe how ATC works from the
pilots’ perspective will promote greater collaboration,
understanding, and communications for both pilots and
controllers, said ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak.
The more than 50 Jumpseat
chairmen also discussed updates to ALPA’s Jumpseat Guide and
webpage, discussed TSA and CASS policies, and received
briefings on international jumpseat issues at the forum,
which continues on Tuesday.