Board of Directors Voting Conference Call Recap
The board of directors convened for a voting conference call at 11:30 a.m. today. After a briefing by Negotiating Committee Chairman CA Dave Rintel and director of pilot negotiations and contract administration Chuck Hairston, the board voted unanimously to approve a letter of agreement modifying the Trip Trade System (TTS) to include reactivation of Trip Trade with Open Time (TTOT).
After an executive session discussion, the board re-entered open session and voted to approve a motion designating Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS) as APA's preferred HIMS provider. HIMS, which stands for Human Intervention Motivation Study, operates within American Airlines' Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to help pilots deal with substance-abuse issues and preserve their flying careers.
The board then discussed and debated a series of motions but did not vote to approve any additional motions. The call ended at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Jumpseat Update: IVR Start Time Change
On Wednesday, management changed the IVR start time to midnight Eastern. Please continue to submit debriefs for anything you witness or experience that doesn't seem right: JUMPSEAT-COMMITTEE@alliedpilots.org.
Technical Correction on Equity Rollover
Congress continues to consider the technical correction that would redefine our eligibility to move a considerable portion of the equity distribution received by LAA employees to tax-deferred vehicles (traditional IRA). The APA Government Affairs Committee hoped the correction would be added to the House Surface Transportation Bill, but the Rules Committee and the new Speaker of the House desired the correction to be on a bill more centric to the House Ways and Means Committee. There appear to be several opportunities for passage of this benefit before year's end, and APA's GAC team is hard at work securing passage of the correction.
Envoy Plan-to-Plan Transfers
If you are a former Envoy pilot, the ability to transfer your Envoy 401(k) Plan account to your American Airlines, Inc. 401(k) Plan for Pilots account may be important to you. However, because the two plans are administered by two different recordkeepers — the American Airlines plan at Fidelity and the Envoy plan at Empower — the company is unable to transfer accounts at this time.
American Airlines is working closely with Fidelity and Empower to make plan-to-plan transfers possible. The company does not yet know the anticipated date plan-to-plan transfers will be available but will communicate the implementation schedule as soon as it is available.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the American Airlines 401(k) team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Pilot-Only 401(k) Participant Accounts Now Open
As the company communicated in its "Time to Choose" publication regarding the new pilot-only 401(k), "there will be a period of time during which account transactions will be temporarily unavailable." This period of unavailability has concluded, and restrictions on normal services have been lifted.
"Quick Question" Results
Thanks to all who participated in the latest "Quick Question" on the members' home page of our website, which focused on APA's efforts to address members' TTS-related concerns. Here is how those who provided an answer responded:
Hotel Committee Update: Upgraded Debrief Form
The Hotel Committee sent an update to members recently regarding additional hotel reviews (by APA and the company) that have occurred or are scheduled to occur. As always, remember you have the final word regarding hotels. To enhance APA's ability to make its case with management regarding the suitability of our layover hotels, we recently upgraded the hotel debrief form.
Board Meeting Webcast Archives
If you did not watch the live webcast of the board of directors voting conference call or fall meeting, you may visit the webcast video archive via the Board Meeting Information link in Quick Links on the members' home page of our website. Our webcast streaming vendor, Onstream, hosts the archived footage on its site. To access it, click the webcast archive link on the Board Meeting Information page, which takes you to the webcast landing page within our site. On the webcast landing page, you'll see the terms and conditions of use. Just above that, an expandable grey box labeled "APA Board Meeting Webcast Archives" contains links for each day's webcast. Click the "plus" sign on the right, click the day of your choice and follow the prompts.
Travel-Friendly CPAP Option
The aeromedical department would like to inform CPAP users of an oral appliance for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The SomnoDent is a continuous open airway treatment (COAT) device with a built-in chip to record compliance for the FAA, making it a "travel friendly" option as opposed to a CPAP machine. The device's efficacy has been demonstrated in more than 16 clinical trials.
For more information, visit somnomed.com/transportation. If you have experience with the SomnoDent or decide to use it, we would appreciate hearing your feedback, positive or negative. Please email email@example.com with any questions.
FAQ: Muscle Relaxants
The aeromedical department has received numerous questions regarding muscle relaxants. The FAA has not approved the use of these medications while flying; therefore, taking them comes with significant downtime.
Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is a frequently prescribed muscle relaxant. Your downtime after taking this will be eight days. The downtime for Valium (diazepam) is even longer:
• One 5 mg dose: 2 days
• One 10 mg dose: 4 days
• Two 5 or 10 mg doses: 10 days
• More than two doses: 20 days
If you're looking for a shorter downtime, Soma (carisoprodol) and Zanaflex (tizanidine) are effective options with only a 12-hour wait.
As always, please feel free to contact the aeromedical department at 817-302-2400 with any questions.
Additional Dividend from APA Voluntary Life Insurance Plan
The board of directors approved an Additional Dividend of up to $10 million, payable in three installments over the three-year period 2015–17. The first installment of $3.2 million will occur in November 2015, and subsequent distributions are planned for the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. Participants eligible for these distributions are those who participated in the Enhanced Coverage at any point during the period beginning Jan. 1, 1994, and ending Dec. 31, 2014 ("Coverage Period"), and who are insured as of the dates specified below:
a. For the 2015 distribution, Eligible Participants are those insured as of Sept. 30, 2015.
b. For the 2016 and 2017 distributions, Eligible Participants are those insured as of Dec. 31 of the preceding year.
Each Eligible Participant shall receive a prorata share of the Additional Dividend calculated based on the ratio of each Eligible Participant's net Enhanced Coverage premiums (i.e. total Enhanced Coverage premiums minus any prior annual Enhanced Coverage dividends) paid during the Coverage Period to the total net Enhanced Coverage premiums for all Eligible Participants during this period.
North Atlantic Flight Operations
The Training Committee sent an update to members recently regarding scheduled changes to lateral separation while operating in the NAT Organized Track System.
Cold Weather Altimeter Corrections
The Safety Committee has published information on its Web page reiterating a message sent by the company regarding safety concerns about cold weather altimetry errors. Crews should never accept or execute an approach requiring a cold
temperature altitude correction if the actual temperature is at or
below the minimum depicted on the chart.
DCA, MIA Interim Elections
DCA: The nomination round of balloting has been eliminated because fewer than four candidates expressed a willingness to serve for office. Candidates' resumes will be mailed to the DCA membership Dec. 8. Election-round ballots will be mailed Dec. 10 and tallied Dec. 31.
MIA: Nomination-round ballots have been mailed and will be tallied at 10 a.m. CST on Nov. 30.
The election schedules and candidate information are posted on the elections page of alliedpilots.org.
New APA ID Badges to Follow New AA Crew IDs
APA will produce and distribute new union ID badges to all members after American Airlines issues new crew IDs. Although your existing APA ID badge bears a Sept. 30, 2015, expiration date, it will remain valid until replaced by the new badge.
Are You a Photographer?
APA is seeking recent, high-quality photographs of American Airlines aircraft and crews to complement our print and electronic publications. If you enjoy taking pictures, we would like to hear from you. High-resolution photos from a 35mm camera or an iPhone using the HDR setting are best. Please contact APA senior graphic designer Stacey Hull at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-302-2270 if you're interested in helping.
Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule
We will not publish an APA News Digest next week. APA headquarters will close at 3 p.m. Central on Nov. 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday and will reopen at 8 a.m. Nov. 30.