The first woman has been elected as general secretary of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) in its 86-year history.

Amy Leversidge was nominated by the National Executive Council (NEC) after an extensive and exhaustive recruitment process and was elected unopposed.

Leversidge, who is currently the assistant general secretary at the FDA and will bring her substantial experience in industrial relations to the role at BALPA, will take up her post on January 8.

She will take over from Miranda Rackley who has acted as interim general secretary since Captain Martin Chalk retired earlier this year.

Executive President Paul Copland said: “I am delighted the National Executive Council’s chosen candidate, Amy Leversidge, will be joining us.

“We must thank Miranda Rackley for her hard work and dedication during the past year as Interim General Secretary. The new year will be a time of new challenges for BALPA, with a new NEC leadership and General Secretary working together to ensure our members are at the heart of all we do.

“Amy’s experience in her previous roles will add an extra dimension to our team and will help us continue to represent pilots and ensure action is taken on the issues that matter to our members.”

Leversidge said: “I am honoured to become BALPA’s General Secretary. I am looking forward to working with the excellent staff and elected reps to ensure BALPA continues to deliver real outcomes for pilots across the UK and is a strong and influential voice for the piloting profession.

“The airline industry contributes significantly to the UK economy and supports over a million jobs and pilots are at the heart of the industry. As the voice of UK pilots, BALPA will ensure our voice is influential with employers, regulators and government on the many challenges the airline industry faces.

“It is a privilege to be BALPA’s general secretary and to make history as the first woman in this vital leadership position in the union. I will work tirelessly for every member to ensure pilots are valued by all of our employers; to ensure we are influential around the opportunities and challenges in the future of the aviation industry; and most importantly that we focus on BALPA’s core principles of safety, strength and unity.”
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