WASHINGTON, D.C. — At its annual Pilot Assistance Forum, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) recognized three members for their extraordinary service in leading pilot health and wellness programs for their pilot groups. ALPA awarded Delta Air Lines First Officer Thomas Thornton of McKinney with one of its most prestigious honors, the Pilot Assistance Award. Presidential Citations were presented to PSA Capt. Heather Ducimo and United Airlines Capt. Craig Korsgard for their outstanding contributions.

ALPA president Capt. Tim Canoll remarked that these three pilots help distinguish the union’s Pilot Assistance program as among the best in the industry. Pilot Assistance volunteers actively promote the airline piloting profession, unselfishly giving their time and energy to help their peers when they need help the most.

“True to ALPA’s Code of Ethics, First Officer Thornton conducts himself both on duty and off in such a way as to instill and merit the confidence and respect of his crew, his fellow employees, and his associates within the profession. We are pleased to recognize First Officer Thornton’s dedication to ensuring that pilots maintain a healthy career track with this year’s Pilot Assistance Award,” said Capt. Canoll.

Through his work on ALPA’s Professional Standards Committee, First Officer Thornton led the team that transformed the committees at Northwest and Delta Air Lines, resulting in vastly improved procedures when engaging with management. This in turn resulted in much better service for all Delta pilots.

In the Presidential Citations presentation, Capt. Canoll recognized Capt. Ducimo and Capt. Korsgard for their leadership, dedication, compassion, and integrity. “Capt. Ducimo’s tireless devotion to her fellow pilots has made PSA pilots stronger. Her efforts helped to reboot PSA’s Pilot Assistance Committee and ensured that no pilot ever felt alone when dealing with personal issues,” Canoll said.

“Combining resources after an airline merger is no easy task, but Capt. Korsgard was a crucial component in merging Pilot Assistance programs after the United/Continental merger. He has been instrumental in helping pilots access various resources available and, combined with his involvement in the Employee Assistance Program, has proven invaluable to many pilots and their families,” added Canoll.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 51,000 pilots at 30 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.