Insider Features:
Overcoming Obstacles and Adversity throughout Aviation
NATCA is proud to celebrate Black History Month by sharing stories of trailblazers in aviation who overcame incredible obstacles to achieve their high-flying dreams.

Pioneering Black Airmen Flew Across America - Thomas Allen and James Herman Banning
When they took off from Los Angeles’ Dycer Airport on Sept. 19, 1932, just four people came out to watch, a small turnout for the start of an epic flight. As the orange and black Alexander Eaglerock biplane circled wide over the city and then nosed eastward, people on the ground very likely questioned whether the two aviators—James Banning and Thomas Allen—would make it over the looming mountains, let alone reach their destination, 3,000 miles away. Their chances appeared slim. Read more .

Integrating African American Pilots into American Aviation - Cornelius Coffey
At the Coffey School of Aeronautics in Illinois, some 350,000 hours of instructional flying were logged at the rough field, a number that represented a lot of realized dreams, both black and white. Read more .

Inspirational Black Female Pilot - Bessie Coleman
She grew up in a cruel world of poverty and discrimination, yet continues to inspire untold thousands even millions of young persons with her sense of adventure, a positive attitude, and her determination to succeed. Read more .

Overcoming Prejudice in the U.S. Navy with Bravery and Grit - Sandra Durbin
Sandra Durbin was still a teenager when she joined the U.S. Navy in 1966 and began her career in aviation. Her choice was motivated by a desire to go to college and the U.S. Navy's promise to see her through four years of higher education if she served for three. "...I picked air traffic control not because it sounded exciting, but because air traffic control school was only six months, and technician school was a whole year, which sounds like a really long time when you’re only 18.” Read more .

Blazing a Trail as a Pilot in the GA Air National Guard - 1st Lt. Andrea Lewis
“You could say that aviation and serving others is in my DNA. It is something I always knew I wanted to be a part of. After my father passed away, I knew it was time for me to take the steps needed to become a pilot and realize my dreams. I know it would have made my father proud.” Read more .

Woman of Color Started Her Own Airline - Siza Mzimela
Mzimela made history in 2015 by becoming the first black woman to start an airline. Mzimela, a South African entrepreneur, launched Fly Blue Crane in September 2015. The airline services cities in South Africa including Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Kimberly, and Nelspruit. Read more .

From Humble Beginnings to Making History - Eleanor Williams
Looking back, she told ATO News that she always remembered the words of one her first instructors, a black man: "Eleanor, you can’t let them run you out of here." After that, she said, ‘It was pretty much like, bring it on. Never let ‘em see you cry and never let ‘em see you sweat." Read more .

Breaking Aviation's Color Barrier - Perry Young
For many years, Perry Young could be identified by his Chevy Blazer, which prominently displayed the words malgré tout on the bumper. The phrase means ‘in spite of it all’ in French, a language Young learned while flying small aircraft in Haiti during a time when no scheduled American passenger carrier would hire a black pilot. And in spite of it all, Young broke that barrier. Read more .
Happy Engineers Week!
Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, Engineers Week (Feb. 17–23, 2019) is dedicated to increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers to help ensure a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce. NATCA’s Engineers & Architects (E&A) bargaining unit includes more than 1,300 employees and is the largest component of NATCA’s Region X. It’s our Union’s second-largest bargaining unit and remains one of our greatest organizing success stories, reflecting the start of an effort that continues to this day to expand and grow our collective voice to represent a strong and proud majority of the aviation safety professionals at the FAA who are eligible to be represented by a union.
NATCA's Shutdown 5th Amendment Claim Withdrawn and FLSA Claims Refiled in the Court of Federal Claims
With the conclusion of the government’s 35-day shutdown on Jan. 25 and the Feb. 15 enactment of legislation funding the government through Sept. 30, 2019, NATCA moved to voluntarily dismiss the lawsuit it had filed during the shutdown in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. That lawsuit had asserted that it was a violation of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for the government to deprive NATCA members of their pay during the shutdown for the work they had performed. The reopening of the government and subsequent payment of NATCA members led to the withdrawal of the 5th Amendment claim.

The NATCA members’ claims for liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, resulting from the government’s failure to timely pay at least the federal minimum wage or overtime compensation during the shutdown, were refiled in the Court of Federal Claims on Feb. 6, 2019, and an amended complaint was filed with that court on Feb. 15. The amended complaint was filed on behalf of the 3,255 NATCA members whose opt-in forms to join the lawsuit have been processed by the outside law firm representing the NATCA plaintiffs, Woodley & McGillivary.

A copy of the amended complaint can be viewed on the members side of the NATCA website ( link located on this page ). Members who have submitted their opt-in forms can check the alphabetical listing of plaintiffs in the amended complaint to confirm that they are a plaintiff in the lawsuit. Woodley & McGillivary is continuing to process the many opt-in forms that have been submitted. The firm will move to further amend the complaint to add additional NATCA members as new plaintiffs in the near future. Members who have submitted their opt-in forms and are not listed as plaintiffs in the current amended complaint will be added to the complaint in the future filing.

Members who worked during the shutdown who wish to join the lawsuit and have not yet submitted their forms should print out the two opt-in forms from the webpage of the NATCA website and mail them to: Woodley and McGillivary, Attn: Sandy Patel, 1101 Vermont Avenue N.W., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005. Although there is not currently a deadline for joining the lawsuit, NATCA anticipates that the court will eventually impose a deadline for the addition of new plaintiffs to the lawsuit.

NATCA will update members as developments occur in the litigation. Members with questions about the lawsuit may direct email inquiries to .
NATCA to Represent New DoD Facility
After a successful organizing campaign, NATCA has won an election to represent the Air Traffic Control Specialists employed by the 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron of the Louisiana Air National Guard. The Federal Labor Relations Authority certified NATCA as the exclusive representative of this new unit on Feb. 12, 2019. We are extremely excited to welcome these new bargaining unit employees to our NATCA family and to give a voice to the AEX controllers.
NATCA Professionalism Award
Professionalism is achieved through a commitment to safety and through upholding the public’s trust. NATCA's Professional Standards program maintains and promotes professionalism across all of NATCA’s bargaining units. Aviation safety professionals don't always get the credit they deserve for what they do daily to ensure the safety of millions of people. As a NATCA member, we want you to know that you are appreciated and your work ethic does not go unnoticed. The NATCA National Professional Standards Committee (PSC) created the NATCA National Professionalism Award as a means to recognize the actions of those who continually strive to achieve these goals.

Do you know someone who is deserving of the Professionalism Award, especially during the most recent government shutdown? Then help us recognize them by nominating them for the NATCA National Professionalism Awards, presented at Communicating For Safety (CFS). The deadline for submissions is June 17, 2019.  Submit a NATCA Professionalism Award Application  today !

The National Professional Standards Committee (PSC) will invite the award winners to attend CFS to be recognized for their achievement and to receive their award. They will be entitled to travel and expense reimbursement, in accordance with the NATCA travel policy, similar to the reimbursement provided to the Archie League Medal of Safety Award winners.
NATCA Scholarship Deadline - March 1!
NATCA offers an in-house scholarship program that can help pay college expenses for your children or spouse, for all active, retired, and deceased members in good standing for at least two years. For the application and details of the NATCA scholarship program, click here . The deadline submit the application is next Friday, March 1 .
NATCA News and Notes
Keeping the National Airspace Safe During the Super Bowl
Aviation safety professionals all across the U.S worked together to ensure safe departures, arrivals, and landings of spectators, participants, and others for Super Bowl LIII, hosted in Atlanta. Furthermore, NATCA members at Atlanta-area facilities safely handled more than 1,500 general aviation flights in the 36 hours surrounding NFL's big game. Feb. 4 was the busiest day for the Atlanta TRACON in more than a decade, handling more than 4,000 total flights. Congratulations to all on a job well done!
Aviation Safety and NASCAR
The Daytona 500 is a major event that involves nearly a year of planning for air traffic control. The drastic increase in traffic in the week leading up to the race required the controllers at Daytona Beach ATCT (DAB) to rise to the occasion. In addition to handling already very busy flight training, there were race team jets going in and out multiple times a day, an increase in general aviation (GA) traffic coming in for the race, and the Thunderbirds and their support aircraft were also part of the mix. 
Race day itself is like the Super Bowl for DAB. Procedures and airspace is changed for the few hours after the race to get everyone on their way. "The adjoining facilities did a great job keeping overflight traffic away from DAB during the outbound rush," said DAB FacRep Michael Driscoll. "Jacksonville Center (ZJX) did a stellar job feeding us arrivals and taking our departures. A team of ZJX controllers and TMU specialists come down each year for our outbound rush to assist in coordination and fix routes before an aircraft becomes airborne. We even handled an aircraft that declared an emergency for smoke in the cockpit and needed to land in the opposite direction, right in the middle of our departure push. I couldn't be more proud of the controllers at DAB for their work during the 2019 Speedweeks and Daytona 500." 
Career Day at William D. Slider Middle School
Tremendous opportunities exist for today's youth to enter exciting careers in aviation. NATCA members Crystal Lingle and Eunice Romero at El Paso ATCT (ELP) recently volunteered their time to educate future aviators at William D. Slider Middle School's Career Day. 
NATCA Attends NGPA's Winter Warm-Up
NATCA participated in the National Gay Pilots Association's annual Industry Expo and Winter Warm-Up in Palm Springs, Calif. The NGPA event attracted more than 1,000 pilots and other aviation professionals. NATCA's expo table was busy as many attendees stopped by to express their support for NATCA and shared their outrage about the recent government shutdown. NATCA passed out information about the air traffic control system and professions and asked everyone stopping by to call their members of Congress to say, no more government shutdowns! Here at NATCA's expo table are NATCA staff member Thom Metzger (right) and retired NATCA member and current NGPA director Tom Morin (left).
Nominate Your Colleague for an Award!
NATCA is still accepting nominations for deserving aviation safety professionals to be presented during the 15th Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards ceremony. The award was named for the first air traffic controller and highlights a variety of aviation saves, some which involve a team of professionals working together, while others are the result of just one person's efforts. Any NATCA member can nominate another member in good standing, but the April 30, 2019 deadline is drawing near.  Click here  for more information. The awards will be presented on Sept. 18, 2019 at Communicating For Safety.
NATCA Academy 2019 Schedule
You can sign up on the  NATCA Membership Portal for NATCA Academy courses (with the exception of LEAP, which is by invitation only).
Once you have logged in, select "NATCA Academy" from the quick links. Then, select 2019 Courses. If you need any help with registration, contact the Coordinator for your region. Registrants will be notified within 35 days from the course start date of their status for the course. 

If you have any questions, please contact NATCA's Training Coordinator, Carolyn Kamara, at .

2019 NATCA Academy Schedule
NATCA Store Items of the Week:
Junior and Letter Padfolders
The NATCA Junior Folder is a dark blue leather-look vinyl folder which offers durability with an upgraded look. The folder measures 8 1/2-by-6 inches and includes a ruled writing pad, a business card insert, a pocket sleeve, and a pen loop. Union-made in the United States.
The NATCA Letter Folder is a dark blue leather-look vinyl folder which offers durability with an upgraded look. The folder measures 12 1/2-by-9 3/8 inches and includes a ruled writing pad, a business card insert, a pocket sleeve, and a pen loop. Union made in USA.
Price: (Junior) $20. or (Letter) $27.

To see the item and how to order: Click here . Select USPS or UPS as your shipping preference on your order. To check on stock availability or for further assistance, call 800-266-0895 or email .
NATCA Benefits: Consumer Credit and
Budget Counseling
Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned. It throws us all kinds of curve balls, and we don’t always hit them out of the park. If life situations have put your finances in a strain, then let your union membership go to work for you through the Union Plus Consumer Credit Counseling Service.

Members receive a free budget analysis session, which can be done over the phone or online. If you need a debt management plan (DMP), there are no set-up fees, and your first year of DMP monthly fees are reimbursed after completing 12 months of the plan. You will also receive a written action plan summarizing your financial picture and providing a budget and timeline for reaching your consumer credit goals and, if appropriate, a referral to a social service organization in your area or to Union Plus legal services. If bankruptcy is a suggestion, the service fee is waived. 

All credit counselors are certified, experienced advisors working through Money Management International (MMI) to provide you with the tools you need to get control of your financial life. Request a confidential budget analysis session online today by clicking here , or call 877-833-1745 to speak with an experienced credit counselor. Phones are staffed 24/7. Have your NATCA membership number ready when calling.
FAA Employee Assistance Program: Financial Freedom Webinar
10 Steps to Financial Freedom Webinar

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EDT

In this free webinar, you will: 

  • Find your “money view”;
  • Develop a budget and get out of debt; and
  • Create an abundance mentality to save and invest.

For more information and to register, click here .