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January 1, Pilots’ Union Suggests Swapping Cockpit for Flight Deck

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The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), representing over 70,000 commercial pilots worldwide, has made a controversial suggestion to change certain terms like “cockpit” to “flight deck” for increased sensitivity towards women and LGBTQ+ employees. The union released an Inclusive Language Reference Guide, aiming to make gendered language more inclusive for its diverse members.

The 2021 guide urges pilots to avoid masculine words such as “guys,” “airmen,” “manpower,” and “cockpit” to “reflect the diversity we have at ALPA” and to “create a more inclusive workplace.” The ALPA stated, “While the word ‘cockpit’ dates back to the 1900s, it has been and may be used in a derogatory way to exclude women in the piloting profession.” The union encourages pilots to use the term “flight deck” instead.

Despite the efforts to change the term, the word “cockpit” is not derived from anything offensive or related to male anatomy. According to General Aviation News, it was first used in the 1580s to describe an arena for cock fights. Over time, it evolved into a synonym for “control center,” and was adopted by World War I pilots in the early 1900s.

ALPA also considers words like “mother” and “father” non-inclusive, as they “may inadvertently ignore different family structures.” The union discourages referring to people’s wives, husbands, girlfriends, or boyfriends, as these terms may exclude those who are unmarried or have long-term or same-sex partners.

Words with “men” or “man” as a suffix or prefix are deemed offensive by ALPA, replacing “manpower” with “people/human power” and suggesting gender-neutral pronouns like “they/them.”

In a statement, ALPA defended its guidelines, stating that the union is simply “opening the doors of opportunity.” However, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety team representative Kyle Bailey argued that “diversity really has nothing to do with safe travel,” and that safety is based on flight time, credentials, background, and training.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Rosie Longfellow

    June 25, 2024 at 7:32 pm

    I am so sick of a small amount of people dictating to ALL of the public on what words we should use. I will NOT use the gender neutral pronouns. Any way you look at it, they are either a man or woman, male or female, boy or girl. Surely you can see that???
    As for cockpit, I have no problem with that term. We’ve lived with that for many years and unless there’s a real “health threat” to anyone that is flying, why would you change it? Safety is the thing I look for. Changing rules for a handful of people doesn’t make sense to me. What about what the majority of the population and their opinions?? That’s my thoughts on this subject. Have a blessed day.

  2. Charles Glasgow

    June 25, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    We are all experiencing an Alice-in-wonderland world being foisted on us by a bunch of people who have never been exposed to a “normal” upbringing. They want us all to live in the void of their empty lifestyle and ongoing existence. A sorry bunch that are pandered to by spineless politicians. Men and women — please keep your chins up. The void will implode on its sorry self

  3. Bill

    June 25, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    This is absolutely ridiculous! This is”woke”! No, no, no!

  4. Richard Nieber

    June 25, 2024 at 11:48 pm

    Get a life, stop catering to these idiots.

  5. Kathleen Young

    June 27, 2024 at 12:01 pm

    Amen to all of the above comments! The people who are insistent on never being “offended” need a reality check! Snowflakes of the world are very sick souls!

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