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In This Issue

Meeting with Air Wisconsin Leadership

Coffee & Conversation FAQs

Volunteer of the Quarter

Flight Deck Photos & Social Media

KCM Uniform Requirement Going Away

ARW Pilots Back the PAC

Upcoming Dates


Quick Links


Stay Informed

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Listen to the weekly MEC podcast.


Pilots helping pilots. Donate to the Pilots for Pilots Fund.

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Check out the WeAreALPA channel on YouTube for the latest news and information.

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Polo shirts, jackets, and accessories—products to suit your off-duty, casual lifestyle. Wear ALPAgear apparel and show your unity and your pride!

Back the PAC


Email Contacts


Contract Status


No Pass


With Company


No Pass




















With Company


























With Company


With Company


With Company




No Pass


No Pass

January 1, 2015


Meeting with Air Wisconsin Leadership



On December 17, 2014, MEC Chairman Captain Chris Suhs, Vice-Chairman Captain Jeff Pruett, and our Negotiating Committee Chairman Captain Mark Lockwood met with Air Wisconsin’s newly-appointed Chief Commercial Officer Christine Deister, Chief Operations Officer Vince Portaro, and Vice President of Flight Operations Bob Frisch in Appleton, Wisconsin.  ALPA requested this meeting to discuss the recent leadership changes and Christine’s vision of the future of Air Wisconsin.

We are happy to report that our discussions were very cordial and we felt very welcomed by Christine and her team. Items of interest to pilots included the recent breakdown of the Delta flying deal and our future flying with American Airlines. We learned that AWAC felt a flying agreement with Delta may have been more detrimental to the Company than beneficial.  While we understand that everyone is disappointed we did not obtain that new flying, we also understand that Air Wisconsin must weigh all of the potential costs and benefits when making decisions as to new ventures.

As far as our future with American Airlines, Christine did confirm that our agreement does conclude at the end of 2015 but that Air Wisconsin has the option to extend for a period of time past that date.  She indicated that this is an ongoing matter and hopes that AWAC will be able to share added details regarding that extension in the coming months.

Christine wanted to make sure we passed on to you, the professional pilots of Air Wisconsin, that she and the entire corporation truly appreciate our great performance on behalf of Air Wisconsin and our customers. We appreciate the time Company Leadership spent with us and the candor of the discussion.  Hopefully, this discussion will be just the beginning of the open dialogue needed to address the challenges and seize the opportunities this segment of the industry presents today.

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Coffee and Conversation FAQs

By Chris Suhs and Jeff Pruett


We had the opportunity to have Coffee and Conversation with fellow pilots on December 4th in PHL; and on December 5th Captain Suhs continued to DCA. Thanks to everyone who stopped by during those dates, and if you were not able to stop by and say hello, our email inbox is always open.  The following are the remaining most frequently asked questions and answers, which complement the 8 FAQs posted in the December 15, 2015 PDH.  Thanks again for taking an active role in our professional union process.


1.    What does Christine Deister mean in her letter – “We look forward to sharing details with you on the extension of our flying with American Airlines as they unfold”?


During our meeting in ATW, Christine confirmed that as far as our future with American Airlines is concerned, our agreement does conclude at the end of 2015 but Air Wisconsin has the option to extend for a period of time past that date.  She indicated that this is an ongoing matter and hopes that AWAC will be able to share added details regarding that extension in the coming months.


2.    How does the company plan on attracting and retaining pilots after this most recent news (Delta) and no clear future with US Airways (American)?


ALPA has the same concern. As far as we have been informed, the Company does not seem overly concerned about attracting pilots at this time, nor do they have any plans to implement employment incentives besides the existing pilot referral program. The company recognizes that the pilot CBA attracts pilots to our property. The sentiments that we have received from the company indicate that they want pilots to come to Air Wisconsin, they compensate us more to keep us here, and they want us to work together for success.


3.    When will our CRJs be painted in the new American paint scheme?


As announced by the company on 12/29/14: “We are excited to share that a timeline for aircraft painting into the new Livery has been established. Starting in Summer 2015 and extending into 2016, all 71 AWAC CRJs will be painted in the new American Eagle livery.”



4.    Do I have a future here?


Answering the question that ALPA has been asking since 2007 - Do I have a future here? Christine enthusiastically says “yes.” It is important for the pilot group to know that there is not a “cliff” at the end of 2015. The company has stated that they are committed to the long-term viability and success of our airline.


5.    I’m a newer first officer – what should I do?  Stay here at Air Wisconsin or pursue a position at another regional offering a clear future and a tangible sign on bonus?


Not many regional airlines can say they have a “clear” future. Your MEC is not in a position to provide individual career advice since only you can evaluate your personal situation. However, you may choose to stay at Air Wisconsin because ALPA has negotiated and has maintained a Collective Bargaining Agreement that leads the industry in medical, retirement and insurance, work rules, and pay for equipment. In addition, things may be more “clear” in the next year; and our second year pay goes further towards paying bills. 


6.    Is the company going to ever complete the iPad initiative?


Unknown. The company has been working through multiple issues to make the initiative a reality.


7.    Will the MEC be hosting more interview skills workshops?

At this time there are no plans for the ARW MEC to host additional interview skills workshops.  The Air Wisconsin MEC is focused on continuing to make Air Wisconsin a career airline, while simultaneously procuring opportunities for our pilots who desire to move to carriers beyond Air Wisconsin. However, the National Fee for Departure Committee and ALPA National will be offering interview skills workshops throughout 2015 to FFD ALPA pilots at various locations throughout the United States – details will be forthcoming.


8.    Will United be conducting anymore open houses in the near future?

From what we understand, United is committed to participating in future open houses, but at this time there have not been any solid dates agreed upon.

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Volunteer of the Quarter

By ARW MEC Officers


Every quarter, your MEC officers bestow the Volunteer of the Quarter recognition award upon the ARW ALPA volunteer whose work has distinguished him or her above all others, while dedicating an extraordinary amount of time and effort on our pilot group’s behalf. For the fourth quarter of 2014, Jumpseat / Security Committee Chairman Nick Chichester was selected as the stand-out volunteer to receive the ARW MEC Unified Excellence coin, and our sincerest thanks.

As the Chairman of this low-profile, but high-output committee, Nick keeps on file a directory of current jumpseat agreements and procedures for our pilots to obtain those jumpseats, explores potential new jumpseat agreements, and acts as a liaison between the company and pilots concerning jumpseat and security difficulties, issues, and/or concerns. He has establish and maintained an outstanding working relationship with Air Wisconsin management and keeps them up to date with the latest issues highlighted by ALPA National, as well as serving as a liaison with the ALPA National Jumpseat Committee and its members. All of this important work is done on Nick’s personal time, as he flies full schedules.

Nick grew up in Michigan always wanting to fly, and while in high school he visited the Air Force recruiter who told him he needed 20/20 uncorrected vision; so the idea of flying was put on the back burner.  After his sophomore year at The Ohio State University, he started to take flying lessons as an elective.  Preferring to be out at the airport rather than inside a lab for three hours a day, Nick decided to pursue a career in aviation, and graduated from Ohio State with a major in history and a minor in aviation. After a stint as an instructor and working for two different cargo companies, Nick landed at Air Wisconsin in February of 2005; first based in IAD, and subsequently ORF, PHL, and LGA. Upon moving to the Philadelphia area in 2009, he joined the Jumpseat/Security Committee and also became the Airport Safety Liaison at the Philadelphia Airport.  Nick was selected to be the Jumpseat/Security Committee chairman in the fall of 2010 and has held that position since.  The security side of aviation is of great interest to Nick, and he attained a master’s degree in homeland security from Penn State in 2013.

As ALPA’s Airport Safety Liaison at Philadelphia International Airport, Nick has built a positive rapport with the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) unit. Nick was recognized at ALPA’s 58th Air Safety Forum in Washington, D.C. in August of 2012 as an Outstanding Airport Safety Liaison for 2011-2012.

Nick takes pride in the work he does for the pilot group and also in the knowledge that other airlines experience exceptionally few issues with Air Wisconsin pilots due to our pilots’ professionalism, knowledge, and respect for the privilege of jumpseating. On behalf of the entire MEC, please join us in thanking Nick for his willingness, dedication, and effectiveness in serving our pilot group.

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Taking Photos from the Flight Deck; Posting on Social Media



In December, a business news website published an article titled, “The pilots of Instagram: beautiful views from the cockpit, violating rules of the air.” The article addressed the issue of pilots taking photos while on the flight deck of commercial aircraft, and in turn posting them on social media platforms.  The article questions whether the taking of such photos from the flight deck violates FAA regulations.

The following is reprinted with permission from a UAL MEC publication:

“While a popular pastime for many, the pursuit of social media fame can come at a high price. How many times have you known or read about someone getting in trouble over a social media post? It happens too often. But we are professionals. We are United Air Lines pilots. The FARs deal with what is and is not permissible pilot conduct during critical phases of flight, and also, as amended in February of this year, state that personal wireless communication devices, e.g. cell phones and most versions of GoPro® cameras, may not be used during any phase of flight.

ALPA National has solicited pilot photos for years to use in official publications and defended this tradition in the article stating that none of the photos published were from the critical phases of flight. They always issue a disclaimer in their solicitation that all FAA and company regulations must be followed. Recently, the MEC Communications Committee solicited pilot photos for use as stock photos to be used in various communications products.  Until this issue is further clarified, these photos will not be used.”


Please refrain from taking inflight photos with your cell phones and other cameras and refrain from posting photos on social media. Although the FAA has stated that it is currently unaware of any pilot being disciplined for doing so, that does not mean that they will not in the future.

As commercial pilots, we have to set a high standard of conduct and professionalism while on duty. Our profession, the Company, the FAA, and most importantly, our passengers, deserve it.  Please, leave the social media updates for your off duty hours. It does not belong on the flight deck.

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KCM Uniform Requirement Going Away

By ARW Jumpseat / Security Committee  


Thanks to the efforts of ALPA pilots, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that, starting on January 13, 2015, flight crewmembers who participate in the Known Crewmember program will no longer be required to wear uniforms when going through KCM checkpoints.

The list of airports with Known Crewmember capability continues to grow.
Click Here for the latest list of participating KCM airports.

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ARW Pilots Back the PAC


One of the most effective ways ALPA pilots garner influence with the nation’s political community is through the ALPA Political Action Committee: ALPA-PAC. By pooling contributions from ALPA members, ALPA is able to help elect pro-pilot members of Congress who support the union’s legislative agenda—regardless of political affiliation. ALPA’s goal is to ensure a pro-pilot majority in the House and the Senate. ALPA-PAC also helps educate members of Congress about who we are, what issues are important to us, and how Congress’s decisions affect our lives.

ALPA-PAC is funded 100 percent by voluntary contributions from U.S. ALPA members. No dues money is used for political contributions. Every year, thousands of ALPA members demonstrate their commitment to the PAC and its goals through their contributions. Some give annually by
personal check or credit card. ARW only needs 13 more pilots to contribute to the PAC to cement second place in ALPA-wide PAC participation.

The following ARW pilots “Backed the PAC” in November 2014—for their future, for your future, and for the future of airline pilots. These pilots understand that the future of this industry and our careers will be won or lost on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.alpa.org/ALPAPAC.

Matthew Chadwick

Richard Clarke

Reed Donoghue

Ryan Ellenson

Robert Fogelsanger

Joshua Foley

Colin Gallagher

Benjamin Grant

Kenneth Honneffer

Miller Hudson

Daniela Hurley

John Jester

Erik Johnson

Matt Johnson

Jeremy Krieger

Charles Mader

Andrew Marsden

Michael McBride

Eric Nielsen

Rodney North

Michael Perrizo

Andrew Rabe

Kenneth Reinert

Matthew Romano

Thorne Saylor

Brian Shaw

Kurt Shipman

Christopher Sibila

Christopher Suhs

Terry Blake

Ralph Wainwright

Jeffrey Wirth

Jeffrey Woodham

Richard Zaiman

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2015 Dates

Mar. 23-27

Mediated Negotiations (tentative)

June 12-20

MEC Regular Meeting

Oct. 16-24

MEC Regular Meeting


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The Pay Day Hotline is an electronic, semimonthly publication of the ARW MEC. Questions or comments about the material it contains may be directed to a local council representative or the Communications Committee at arwcommunications@alpa.org.

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