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Safe in the skies at helm of Aussie pilots association

September 24, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) has elected Nathan Safe president.

Nathan Safe 2013

Nathan Safe

AIPA includes many Qantas pilots and Safe is one of them (pilot of a B737). His appointment would appear to be one of those rare instances where a person’s surname matches the job – Qantas being renowned for safety and AIPA being determined to keep it that way

In the world of industrial relations, AIPA is known as a quiet union. The low-key campaign it waged in 2011 and 2012 in defence of Qantas International, aimed at ensuring that only Qantas pilots could fly the planes, was the union’s first period of industrial action since 1966.

That action, spearheaded by previous president Barry Jackson, involved wearing red ties and making in-flight announcements. It did not disrupt the travel plans of a single Qantas passenger. Though the campaign was mild, Fair Work Australia banned it in 2012 and an AIPA appeal to the Federal Court to overturn the ban failed in May this year.

Safe replaces Barry Jackson, who is standing down after five years in office.

Safe joined Qantas in 2004 as a second officer on the B747-400, before transferring to the B737 as a first officer in 2010.

In 2009, Safe was elected to the AIPA management committee, serving as assistant secretary from 2012 until his election as president this month. Safe, who played a role in negotiating the Qantas short haul pilots’ enterprise agreement, has also held various roles related to long and short haul pilots’ rostering.

Safe has represented AIPA on television and radio on topics ranging from industrial relations, flight time limitations, aircraft technology and the aviation industry.

Written by : Peter Needham

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