ALPA President Joe DePete To FAA: “Get Out Of The Way”


In a stinging editorial titled “ALPA to FAA: Get Out of the Way, Pilots Are Trying to Help Fight This Pandemic,” Air Line Pilots Association President Joe DePete says that the FAA “is not doing its job by regulating when it’s urgently needed to protect us as we help in the fight against the pandemic. The FAA is refusing to make sure that U.S. airlines follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines for exposure notification and workplace sanitation—guidelines that, if enforced, will not only help protect our pilots’ health and that of our families but will also help make certain that pilots are available to continue to help the world respond to the pandemic.”

ALPA alerted the Department of Transportation last week and said the FAA should “immediately issue a mandatory order requiring U.S. airlines to meet CDC guidelines for employee test-positive notification and flight deck cleaning and sanitation.” More than a week before, ALPA asked Administrator Steve Dickson to have the FAA to produce an “order, directive, or regulatory requirement expressly mandating that airlines follow CDC guidance.” The FAA has not done so.

“It’s outrageous that, at a time of crisis, one part of the federal government, the FAA, is hindering another, FEMA, as it works to transport lifesaving supplies to those who are battling this pandemic,” DePete said. “This is no time for bureaucratic bungling or turf wars. The only war we should be fighting right now is the one against COVID-19—and we should be doing everything in our power to keep the soldiers on the frontlines safe and healthy.”

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Although I do not completely agree with Mr. DePete on this issue, maybe he should be looking in the mirror when he complains about Adminstrator Dickson. After all his organization along with several others supported Mr Dickson’s appointment!

  2. I don’t understand how the headline relates to the story. They want the FAA to “get out of the way” by creating more regulation?

    • Yeah, my thoughts as well. ALPA only wants regulation that helps ALPA, as we have learned.

  3. You all spent a half century lobbying the FAA and US government to do just about anything except get out of the way. Quite the bed you guys made, now you aren’t happy with the way it feels?

    I’m so glad I chose not to pursue a career as an airline pilot. These jerks would have driven me crazy.

    • Despite the misleading title, ALPA isn’t asking the FAA to get out of the way. Quite the opposite. They’re asking them to step in and act to ensure CDC guidance is followed.

  4. “Get out of the way” is a highly misleading phrase in the headline to DePete’s editorial and this article. Nowhere in his editorial does he use that phrase. In fact, he wants the FAA to ACT, not to get out of the way.

  5. I’ve updated the opening paragraph to make clear that the “get out of the way” was actually the title of DePete’s editorial.