“For more than 40 years, Southwest has thrived because of our regard for labor organizations as partners,” Van de Ven said. ”Randy’s unique skills and experience at various levels in our industry can only strengthen those partnerships to ensure our
Employees continue to play an important role in Southwest’s success.”
Mike Ryan, Southwest’s Vice President of Labor Relations, and the Labor Relations Team will report to Babbitt.
Babbitt began his aviation career as a pilot, flying 25 years for Eastern Airlines. A skilled negotiator, he served as President and CEO for US ALPA, the world’s largest professional organization of airline pilots. While at ALPA, he championed the “One Level of Safety” initiative implemented in 1995 to improve safety standards across the industry. He also promoted the international expansion of ALPA through a merger with the Canadian Air Line Pilots Association in 1997.
Babbitt later served as the FAA’s sixteenth administrator from June 2009 through December 2011 after more than eight years on the agency’s Management Advisory Council providing guidance to other Administrators on a range of topics ranging from air traffic modernization to regulatory policy and safety oversight within the airline industry and the FAA. He was recognized by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine with the Laurels Award for outstanding achievement in the Commercial Air Transport category.
Source and photo: Southwest Airlines