Compass Project Points Pilots in Right Direction

This is the latest in a series of articles highlighting the work done by APA’s national committees. Read the rest on our Armed With the Facts webpage.

When it comes to APA committees, there is one that nearly every new hire is familiar with. Not only is the Compass Project one of our largest committees, it’s also among the most necessary. The importance of this committee and what they provide for our pilots cannot be overstated. From their stockpile of documents to the one-on-one mentorship they provide, we can all agree that the pilots who volunteer for Compass are making a positive impact on all of us.

Our Compass Mentors ensure that our new pilots learn how to navigate their new careers at American Airlines. As FO Josh Daneault says, “The main role of Compass Project Mentors is really summed up in our name: mentors. We are there for new hires, providing mentorship and a pathway to success for new hires through training.” The mentors assist our newest pilots with bidding for their monthly schedules or vacations, and they help find any of the documents a new hire may need in our system.

“The biggest issue our new hires face is the amount of different systems needed to become familiar and proficient with flying at American,” FO Daneault says. “Beginning with TMS, and continuing on to finishing OE, becoming familiar with our Reserve system, looking at Open Time, understanding DOTC, TTS, TTS-RT, PBS, DECS and FOS, HI1s, 3s, and 5s, pay statements – the list really goes on and can become overwhelming. The team at Compass has put together great documentation to cover all of this, which is not only relevant to helping facilitate our new hires’ learning period but provides great reference material long after the first year.”

Even after year one, there is so much we can learn, and the Compass Project is an asset we should all utilize. Understanding what our union provides the membership is pivotal to a successful career. Another program that is provided is YOUnion 101. YOUnion 101 is about educating all pilots on all aspects of APA membership, and the benefits APA provides YOU. Compass is in place to ensure the success for each pilot as they navigate through different times in their career. The committee is about to offer its first YOUnion 301 seminar for new captains.

FO Benixavier Perez, who is a documentation specialist for Compass, said the compilation of documents is the committee’s bread and butter. This is where pilots go when they have questions about anything. But the documents aren’t the only thing that Compass offers. Thanks to the committee’s roster of experts in different niches, our pilots can get the answers to just about anything related to this job.

“Like a compass, it will always be there to guide you. Compass will grow, evolve, and learn as people, contracts, and the pilot group changes,” FO Daneault says. “We’re always here to provide reliable knowledge, references, and support to not only new hires, but we’re committed to ensuring ALL of our pilots can always find a way back to a ‘true north,’ so to speak. It is so important to us as volunteers that our pilots know we are here for them from the day they set foot on property to well into their retirement.”

The Compass Project Committee is the go-to source when pilots need answers. As such, the committee is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested, please send them an email: