Air Transport World

Capt. Randy Babbitt, ALPA president. (Air Line Pilots Association) (interview)

Apprenticeship accounts for something. Eastern Airlines DC-9 Capt. Randy Babbitt is proof of labor's designated path of advancement. After six years as executive administrator for the Air Line Pilots Association under President Henry Duffy, Babbitt indeed is advancing. in late October, he was elected to replace Duffy as head of the 42,000-member pilots' union.

it was a contentious election between Babbiff and ALPA First VP and United Capt. Roger Hall. Babbitt captured 52% of the vote on the third ballot to become ALPA's sixth president.

In an interview with ATW editors, Babbitt said that his first order of business will be "improved communications with the membership," bringing the various factions together and "getting our financial house in order." The Eastern Airlines strike and deregulation in general have depleted the union's coffers. But Babbitt has no plans to institute an assessment on membership dues.

Second, "we have seen an erosion of our pilots' rights [as they relate to random drug testing and crew screening at airports] and that must be addressed. …

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