WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) will honor Miami International Airport (MIA) as its “2013–2014 Airport of the Year” for the facility’s steadfast commitment to engaging with the airline pilots who operate there to ensure the highest safety standards for passengers, crews, and cargo.
ALPA will confer the prestigious “2013–2014 Airport of the Year” award on the “pilot-friendly” airport during the Association’s 60th Air Safety Forum, held August 4–7 in Washington, D.C.
ALPA selected MIA in part because of its track record of maintaining effective channels of communication with Delta Air Lines F/O Carlos Suhr, ALPA’s airport safety liaison (ASL) to MIA. One of the MIA administration’s key members, Jim Murphy, airport supervisor, Airside Operations, regularly communicates with F/O Suhr to find solutions that help keep the airport safe.
“Murphy and the rest of his team at MIA have been great partners with ALPA,” stated ALPA president Capt. Lee Moak. “They have consistently demonstrated that they understand the importance of having a line pilot’s perspective when it comes to safety. They continue to receive our concerns and continue to listen to our pilots’ perspectives involving safety issues at the airport. Such a partnership between the airport, ALPA, and pilots can only be good for the industry.”
As an example of this partnership and shared commitment to safety, F/O Suhr informed Murphy about two potentially unsafe situations concerning the markings of “hotspots” that were revealed through the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) reporting system. After completing a thorough investigation of each situation, Murphy agreed with ALPA’s recommendations to correct the problems and made the necessary changes in the airport’s markings and signage to improve safety so these kinds of events would not happen again.
“Every day, ALPA pilots operate hundreds of flights at MIA, and the airport management is consistently receptive to our concerns and works together with us to ensure the safest possible operations,” said ALPA’s first vice president and national safety coordinator, Capt. Sean Cassidy. “The airport has set the standard by maintaining an open dialogue with airline pilots so that, together, we can detect and resolve emerging safety concerns.”
Another example of the airport’s commitment to working with the ALPA ASL followed a runway concern that F/O Suhr took to Murphy, who closed the runway in question to conduct a detailed inspection.
“Murphy and the MIA operations team keep an open line of communication with F/O Suhr so that they can have top-notch ramp, taxiway, and runway operations,” concluded Capt. Moak.
Miami International Airport is among the busiest airports in the world. There are over 90 airlines serving MIA to approximately 150 destinations around the globe. In 2013 they served 40.5 million passengers (more than 100,000 a day) and shipped 2.1 million tons of freight around the world. They're in the top 10 U.S. airports for total freight, total cargo, total passengers, international freight, and international passengers.
ALPA’s Airport and Ground Environment Group selects the Airport of the Year from nominations made by ALPA’s regional safety chairmen and airport safety liaisons who represent pilots’ interests at more than 150 airports in the United States and Canada. Nominations range from small regional airports to some of the busiest airports in the world, but all nominees share a common commitment to the highest safety standards.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 31 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at
www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter