World's largest pilot union advocates to eliminate terms such as 'manpower,' 'cockpit' for gender 'equity'

The guide urges pilots to refrain from saying "cockpit."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC

It has been revealed that the world's largest pilot union attempted to convince its members to stop using certain words and phrases such as "cockpit" and "manpower" as well as to avoid “masculine generalizations” to promote “equity.” 

In its 2021 diversity, equity, and inclusion guide, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) called on those operating aircraft to avoid using "masculine" language to refer to areas of the plane and gendered terms for partners and guardians. 

"Inclusive language in communications is essential to our union's solidarity and collective strength and is an important factor in maintaining flight safety," the guide read, per the New York Post. "The purpose of this language guide is to offer examples of terms and phrases that promote inclusion and equity." 

The guide urges pilots to refrain from saying "cockpit," claiming that, "many women have heard a variation of 'it is called a cockpit for a reason' by a male pilot, suggesting that women do not belong in the piloting profession." They suggest that the term "flight deck" be used instead. 

While the guide appears to have been deleted from the ALPA's website, sections of it were transcribed and published by other outlets. Meanwhile the union, which represents over 70,000 pilots, has not backed down from its position as a staunch supporter of DEI initiatives.  

The ALPA also cautioned against the use of any term that had "man" in it, such as "manpower," suggesting "people/human power" as an alternative. Terms such as "mother/father" and "husband/wife" were also cast in a negative light, the union claiming they were alienating to those with "different family structures, such as grandparents as caregivers [and] same-sex parents," and those in same-sex relationships.  

According to the ALPA website, the union "strives to promote a diverse, inclusive culture where all pilots can be their authentic selves and are motivated to do their best." It still has a "Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion Committee" made up of members from all over the world. 

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