In This Issue:
Celebrating the Life of Michael King, 1954-2020
COVID-19 Claims Life of Beloved NATCA Brother Whose Kind Heart Touched Many in Tampa, Key West, and Beyond
Key West, Fla., Federal Contract Tower (EYW) FacRep Michael King passed away from complications related to COVID-19 on Tuesday, July 28, after being hospitalized for 18 days. King was a talented and dedicated air traffic controller and trainer whose career spanned 37 years. He was a friend to many who knew him as a caring, gentle soul and a good person to be around. He had just turned 66 years old on July 18.

"We are heartbroken at this news and extend our deepest sympathies to Mike's family and his many Union brothers and sisters and friends who knew and loved him dearly," NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. "Mike's death underscores the severity and the cruelty of this virus and its effects on our country, our professions, and our Union. Many of us have lost family members and friends to COVID-19 or know someone close to us who has. Today, we have now lost one of our own fellow Union members and it hits us hard. It reminds us how fragile life truly is, especially in these frightening and uncertain times."
King was a U.S. Air Force veteran and friends say he was very proud of his military service. He began his Federal Aviation Administration controller career in 1983 at Tampa ATCT (TPA). He worked there for 27 years until his retirement in 2010. King was hired by Robinson Aviation, Inc. (RVA) in March 2011 to work at EYW. In April 2019, he assumed the role of NATCA FacRep. "He ran a great local," said Southern Regional Vice President (RVP) Jim Marinitti . "Mike was a consummate professional and he didn’t need to have a title to project leadership."

Stuart FCT (SUA) FacRep Rich Peiffer worked with King for 20 years at TPA. Peiffer said, "He has NATCA brothers and sisters all over RVA and in contract jobs for the FAA. He was the most giving person I've ever known. And he was one of the best air traffic control specialists I've ever worked with. Period."

King's personality suited his life in Key West perfectly. He expressed his love for the Florida Keys as a child and had just recently moved into a new condo. It is a terrible and sudden loss for those who knew him affectionately as the "Kingster" and "Kingfish." News of his passing drew an outpouring of love on a social media tribute page full of sadness, and anger at COVID-19, but also fond remembrances of the special way in which King touched so many lives. Some of the descriptions from his friends:

"He was a bright light and all of us liked him."

"He was always fun and was always present for anyone who needed an ear or a friend."

"He was one of those good people that make this place (Key West) a community."

"Mike was always helping others."

Nashville ATCT (BNA) Vice President Ryan Warters said King was his first trainer when he was hired by the FAA and went to TPA in 2008. "He got me through the tower training and kind of made it a personal mission to get me done before he retired,” Warters said. "He was kind. He was smart. And most importantly, he was damn good at his job. He was one of the most genuine controllers I’ve ever had the privilege - no, the honor - to work with. ATC, NATCA, and the world lost a good man."

Houston TRACON (I90) member Ryan McCain also started his career at TPA, in 2007, and immediately took a liking to King, who was helpful to the new trainees. "He was the perfect balance of tough, old school training, and big brother-like advice," McCain said. "Over time, his behavior rubbed off on his peers and the place was a great facility to work at. He was a small guy, physically, but had a grand personality."

McCain said King was also able to effectively diffuse any disagreements that sometimes occurred in the control room with a style of leadership that valued collaboration. That description was echoed by Alternate Southern RVP and FCT Representative Brad Burtner , who is also the FacRep at Pompano Beach FCT (PMP). Burtner said King did a great job as FacRep, making a focused effort to work with the manager for the betterment of the NATCA local. "He was a great guy," Burtner said. "Mike will be missed."
ZHU Members Deliver Thanks to Local Hospital Where One of Its Own Battled COVID-19 and Delivered Twins!
"People still think this virus won’t affect them.
It won’t stop for you or your plans."
- ZHU Member Chelsea Corcoran
Houston Center (ZHU) members' "feeding the front lines" effort over the past four months made a special delivery last week. This one was a heartfelt thank you to the ICU unit at Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital for taking care of one of ZHU's own members, Chelsea Corcoran .

Corcoran, pregnant with twins, was admitted to the hospital on July 4 for treatment to stop the pre-term labor process. While there, she was diagnosed with COVID-19 but was released two days later with only mild symptoms. Her husband, Christian, also tested positive. On July 7, Chelsea began struggling to breathe and returned to the hospital the next day. But Christian was not allowed to be with her due to his positive COVID-19 status.

By Thursday, July 9, doctors devised a plan for delivery. "I wasn’t able to provide enough oxygen for all three of us," she said. "They set some goals and some decision guidelines. Friday evening, I could barely breathe enough for me and it was time to get the babies out." At 9:45 p.m. CDT that evening, Harper Quinn was born (3 lbs., 13 oz.), followed two minutes later by Noah James (4 lbs., 1 oz.).

"I was completely sedated so they could get me breathing again, so I was unaware about the status of the babies until after 10 a.m. on Saturday (July 11)," she said. "I am so happy for all the love given to them while they were trying to tend to me. Both babies are strong and healthy. They’ve been breathing on their own since delivery, beating every goal they have been given. I’m a very proud Momma. The NICU nurses have been amazing."

ZHU member Ashley Amato coordinated the lunch delivery to the ICU unit's 25 doctors, nurses, and staff, for whom Corcoran feels very thankful. " I wish we could take them meals every day for taking good care of one of our own, but I can assure you the gesture by our membership was well received," ZHU FacRep Chris Parris said.
During the first week after giving birth, Corcoran was in the ICU. She was able to go home on July 19. The twins remained at the hospital. Finally, on July 26, 16 days after the delivery, Corcoran was able to see them and hold them.

Corcoran reports that her lungs are seriously damaged and look like “a wild animal attacked them."

"The road to recovery for me is long and will be challenging," she said. "But our babies are here and COVID free. There have been four times over the last two weeks I’ve thought I wasn’t going to make it through this. Not because I can’t do it or didn’t want to, but because I could literally feel this virus trying to kill me.

"People still think this virus won’t affect them. It won’t stop for you or your plans."
NATCA-FAA MOU Requires Face
Coverings in Common Areas
The Agency has determined, and NATCA has agreed, that face coverings will be required in common areas such as elevators, hallways, and any workspaces or other locations where social distancing cannot be maintained. This decision is consistent with CDC guidance intended to slow the spread of the virus and serves to further protect the workforce.

The Parties at the local level shall work collaboratively to comply with the policy in accordance with the MOU as expeditiously as possible. It is expected the facilities are now in full compliance. 

Agency Frequently Asked Questions: 

Q : Are FAA employees and contractors required to wear face coverings?

A : FAA employees will wear cloth face coverings, surgical masks, dust masks, or N95 respirators (if medically qualified) in common areas such as elevators, hallways, and any workspaces or other locations where social distancing cannot be maintained. 

According to the CDC, wearing face coverings in public settings helps slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, several state and local authorities have mandates that require persons wear face coverings in public places. Visit the CDC website for more information on cloth face coverings and on respirators and face masks. This guidance does not supersede any FAA position-specific guidance on PPE.  

Q : Can an employee use a face covering with an unfiltered exhalation valve? 

A : Face coverings with an unfiltered exhalation valves are not suitable for COVID-19 community spread protection. The unfiltered exhalation valve allows unfiltered air to escape the face covering. Unfiltered exhalation valves on any type of face coverings are not permitted. 
CAE Members Pay it Forward to
Local Health Care Workers
Columbia ATCT (CAE) members recently organized a T-shirt drive to raise money to provide 260 meals for all health care workers at Lexington Medical Center in West Columbia, S.C., a few miles from CAE. This effort was done in partnership with Primal Gourmet, a local business that sources its ingredients from local farmers.

"We are extremely fortunate that Primal Gourmet matched every dollar we donated to help provide these meals," said CAE FacRep Matt Trimble . "I especially want to thank local member Justin Mendelson for organizing this fundraiser and designing the T-shirts. Thanks to everyone who helped out by purchasing a T-shirt or donating to the cause."
Operation Traffic Counts Across the U.S.
Pushing Up, Pushing Forward: NCF Launches '25 for 25' Fundraising Campaign to Benefit Suicide Prevention Organization
The 25 for 25 Pushup Challenge
PURPOSE : To raise awareness and learn more about mental health issues and suicide prevention. This three-month campaign begins today. It will raise money for the NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF), which is supporting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), one of the featured charities for the 18th Biennial Convention in Houston in spring 2021.
THE CHALLENGE : Do 25 pushups a day for 25 days between Oct. 1 and Oct. 25. Raise money by getting sponsors to donate between now and Oct. 1.
HOW TO REGISTER : Text NCF25Days to 76278 and then follow the prompts for your name and address (to send you a T-shirt), or go to
COST : $35.
T-SHIRT : Each registrant will get an event T-shirt with each registration. Register by Sept. 1 to guarantee delivery of your shirt by the Oct. 1 start date of the challenge.

DONATIONS : Each 25 for 25 registrant will get a link to their own personalized fundraising page. Set your fundraising goal and share with family and friends.

COMING SOON : More details and more ways to get involved as a participant, or a donor. We'll tell you about a silent auction on the way, report on corporate sponsors getting involved, and more.
Union Members Feature: AFSCME
We continue to highlight our union sisters and brothers who are also essential workers during the COVID-19 national emergency. Today we thank the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which represents members in hundreds of different occupations, from nurses to corrections officers, child care providers to sanitation workers. AFSCME's 1.4 million members provide many of the vital services that make America happen.

AFSCME recently launched a national ad campaign calling for Congress to provide $1 trillion in financial assistance to states, cities, towns and school districts in the next coronavirus relief package. The campaign is part of the union’s aggressive “Fund the Front Lines” campaign including grassroots calls and letters, earned media, and advertising. Watch AFSCME's new ad .
Aviation Labor News

REUTERS : Majority of U.S. House backs new bailout for U.S. passenger airlines - A majority U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers signed a letter made public on Monday, July 27 calling for a six-month extension of a $32 billion payroll aid program that they argue is crucial to keeping hundreds of thousands of aviation workers employed through March 31. “Without an extension of the (payroll support program) before then, hundreds of thousands of airline workers will be fired or furloughed on October 1,” the lawmakers wrote. More than a dozen aviation unions (including NATCA) applauded the letter, saying, “Congress has the power to ensure airline workers will continue to stay on payroll ... and keep aviation workers ready to turn the industry around once this crisis is behind us.”
THE WASHINGTON POST : Labor unions petition Transportation Department for a mandatory mask rule - Labor unions representing transportation workers formally asked the U.S. Department of Transportation this week to issue an emergency rule ordering passengers to wear masks on planes, buses and trains or be denied a ride. Larry Willis, the president of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD), a coalition of 33 unions, wrote in the petition that the government needed to go beyond issuing guidance and set clear rules for the use of masks to protect workers and passengers from the novel  coronavirus .
THE HILL : Opinion/editorial column by Capt. Joe DePete, president of the  Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l.  (ALPA) and Sara Nelson, president of the  Association of Flight Attendants – CWA - Thanks in part to airline pilots, flight attendants and other aviation workers, the U.S. airline industry has begun a fragile return to the skies — but the effort will be lost without commitment from the administration and Congress to continue to protect aviation jobs, mandate a healthy flying environment and help us inspire more passengers to fly. 
CNN : Southwest CEO says the airline won't have furloughs, for now - Southwest Airlines says it will not furlough any employees for now, despite COVID-19's  crushing blow  to major airlines. "We have no intention of seeking furloughs, layoffs, pay rate cuts, or benefits cuts through at least the end of this year," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said in a memo obtained by CNN. But Kelly cautioned that he "can't guarantee it will never happen, especially during these dark pandemic times."
'SimVenture' at EAA's Annual
Spirit of Aviation Week Earns Rave Reviews
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), working with NATCA and PilotEdge, came up with a creative and successful alternative to the canceled AirVenture 2020. It was called "SimVenture" and took place from July 21-25 as part of EAA's "Spirit of Aviation Week."

Using PilotEdge's simulator technology, pilots had the opportunity to fly in to OSH, and hundreds did so each day, guided by the air traffic control work of eight NATCA members. There were a total of 1,066 arrivals into OSH, including a high of 404 on the final day, July 25. The first three days featured a three-hour session. The final day lasted more than four hours.

The NATCA members participating were Kyle Franklin (Kalamazoo ATCT, AZO),  Jeff Gross (Austin ATCT, AUS),  David Kaupp (retired member),  Brian Kelly (Dallas Love Field ATCT, DAL),  Brian LaFleur  (New Orleans ATCT, MSY),  Christine Sobczyk (Chicago DuPage ATCT, DPA),  Renee Spencer (Fort Wayne ATCT, FWA), and  Greg Williams (Cleveland ATCT, CLE).

The experience drew rave reviews from many of the pilots. A sampling:

Mitch Fish : "The professionalism of the pilots and controllers was beyond anything I could have imagined."

Dr. Robert A. Strauss : "I know these were the actual show volunteer controllers because they were freakin’ awesome and as friendly as they are at the actual show."
Chip DeMoss : "I have always dreamed of flying the Fisk Approach to Oshkosh, but never thought it would be a reality. Now, because the sim was so much fun, I have it on the bucket list to do it for real. The controllers, graphics, NOTAM, and overall look and feel were just outstanding."

John Neustadt : "You guys pulled it off beautifully, and it was far more realistic than anyone could have hoped to experience."

Spirit of Aviation Week offered opportunities for pilots and other aviation professionals to increase their knowledge and hone their abilities with tech talks, flight simulators, and forums — and now all the content from the event is available on demand for streaming for a limited time.
NATCA Academy Virtual Learning:
Class Schedule Through September
Building on the success of classes in its first couple of months, organizers of the NATCA Academy have announced a new schedule of classes for virtual learning through the end of September. We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about your Union, your rights, and how you can become more active in the areas that interest you.

Below is the schedule of upcoming classes in the next few days.
Register  here  today!
Retirement Webinars Scheduled for August
Upcoming retirement seminars have been merged and reformatted to be webinars due to the COVID-19 national emergency. They are open to any member nationwide. The webinars in August are as follows:  
Aug. 19 : 9 a.m.-3 p.m. PDT
Aug. 27 : 9 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT

An additional webinar, called NATCA Edge, open to any member nationwide, is scheduled for Aug. 27 at 10 a.m. CDT.

IMPORTANT: If you had previously signed up for these seminars and are unable to attend virtually, please consider canceling your reservation as space is limited for virtual classes as well.

To register for both the seminars and the webinars: use the NATCA Portal, . Click on the “events” tab in the main menu at the top of the screen. 

For questions or any problems with registration, please contact Lisa Head at the National Office: 202-628-5451 or
NATCA Member Resources
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) MOU

On May 8, NATCA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding Human Resource Policy Manual (HRPM) Policy Bulletin 115, Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Policy Bulletin 115 and the MOU specifically address the FAA’s implementation of FFCRA, which was signed into law on March 18. FFCRA provides expanded paid leave options for NATCA bargaining unit employees (BUEs) who have been affected by COVID-19. FFCRA provides two forms of paid leave: Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which can be utilized for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave quick reference guide  here .

Expanded FMLA Leave quick reference guide  here .

FFCRA Frequently Asked Questions can be viewed here .

Download the full MOU  here .

Download only the FFCRA leave request form attachment  here .
Comparison of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA Leave  here .
Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM)

In recent months, we all have faced a steady stream of challenges. If you want to talk with someone during these tough times, please know the  CISM team  is here to help you. CISM is a peer-to-peer service designed to help you post-accident or during a personal crisis. You can call us 24/7, 265 at 202-505-CISM (2476). If you reach our voicemail please leave your contact info, and someone will call you back. Keep in mind, we are aviation safety professionals and may be actively working at the time of your call. Messages are kept strictly confidential. You also can reach us via email at   or check out our website at