NATCA Members Celebrate Union Solidarity & Pride

NATCA members across the country celebrated Labor Day in various ways, from the annual Labor Day parade in Milford, N.H., to Labor Festivals in Indianapolis and other locations.  View photo album .

NATCA's Boots On The Ground members also were active on Labor Day weekend. Pictured at right at the Northern Virginia Labor Federation's Labor Day picnic, from left to right, are Boots On The Ground Program Manager Tom Thompson, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, and Boots member Steve Mendenhall. View Boots On The Ground photo album.

The Airports Division (ARP), which joined the NATCA family officially on Aug. 31, 2000, comprises a variety of aviation professionals  that include program managers, community planners, environmental protection specialists, airport certification inspectors, attorneys, financial experts, compliance specialists, engineers, and pilots. There are many bargaining unit employees who are former airport managers, and former airport operations managers, as well as public relations practitioners, and program specialists. There is great diversity in the backgrounds of the unit's employees.

ARP employees manage the $3.2 billion Airport Improvement Grant Program (AIP) and the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program. NATCA's National ARP Rep Brad Davidson (right) says their  biggest problem is the stop-and-go funding of the FAA. It impacts all ARP employees year after year. When funding is extended instead of passed in a full funding bill, the resulting multiple grant cycles result in more work for ARP employees. Read more
Paul Dye

Paul Dye has over 40 years of aviation experience as an engineer, builder, and pilot. His experiences have ranged from restoring old light aircraft to planning and leading manned spaceflights.  For 33 years, he worked in increasingly responsible roles within the U.S. (NASA) Manned Space Program, as a technical expert in spacecraft systems and, eventually, as the overall lead of many missions to space. He retired from NASA in 2013 as the longest-serving Flight Director in U.S. history.

Dye will be speaking on Wednesday, Oct. 24. Read more
FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell 

Dan Elwell is the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Previously, Elwell was FAA Deputy Administrator. He also was a commercial pilot for 16 years with American Airlines, flying DC-10, MD-80, and B-757/767 aircraft.

Elwell retired from military service as a Command Pilot with more than 6,000 hours combined civilian and military flight time in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Force Reserve, including combat service during Operation Desert Storm.

Elwell will be speaking on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Read more
Central Region: Josh Giles (ZKC)
When a Denver Center (ZDV) air traffic controller called 11-year veteran Kansas City Center air traffic controller Josh Giles at the start of the midnight shift of Nov. 22, 2017 to advise of an aircraft about to enter Giles's Prairie Area Sector 66 position, the only thing Giles knew for sure from his ZDV colleague was that the aircraft was having electrical problems.

"OK, we'll figure it out," Giles told the ZDV controller.  While he continued to handle other traffic in his airspace, he went to work providing immediate assistance to this aircraft.  The situation for the aircraft soon got worse. Much worse.  Read more
New England Region: Jesse Belleau, Joshua Laplante (A90)
On Oct. 23, 2017, Cape Air Flight 21 took off from Augusta, Maine, headed for Boston.  The flight was interrupted when the crew reported a fire in the dome light in the cockpit of the Cessna 402. They declared an emergency to Boston TRACON.  "We need immediate landing. Smoke in the cockpit. Fire confirmed," was the ominous report over the frequency.

NATCA members Jesse Belleau and Joshua Laplante immediately began to assess the situation and the available options. Read more
NATCA Discusses Operational Procedures for the Future

NATCA Director of Safety and Technology Jim Ullmann participated on a panel at the Air Traffic Control Association's Blue Skies conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 6, focusing on the future of the National Airspace System (NAS) and discussed how operations will shape the next phase of modernization.  Read more

Wilmington, Del., ATCT (ILG) was commissioned in 2001, but the old tower can still be seen attached to the terminal building as visitors drive past the airport on DuPont Highway. ILG has the distinction of being the only FAA air traffic facility located in the state of Delaware.

The facility has 12 NATCA members, nine of which are Certified Professional Controllers (CPCs), and three developmental trainees. ILG has seen a renaissance in Union activism over the last few years, with increasing ILG member participation at NATCA local, regional, and national events. 
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: ZHU Member Dustin Newell Takes Love of Aviation to New Heights

The aviation bug bit Houston Center (ZHU) member Dustin Newell at a very young age - 5 or 6 by his estimation - and it's never let go over these past 35 years. In fact, he says, his love of flying has grown even stronger.

Next month will mark Newell's 10th anniversary of being an air traffic controller. He spent all of that time at ZHU. It's also the 26th anniversary of his first flight at age 14. He spends much of his time away from the facility with service through aviation, including flying for Pilots for Patients, and volunteering at events including last July as part of the team of NATCA members who worked with pilots, kids, and attendees at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
NATCA Activists Hit the Hill to Urge Action on Funding, FAA Reauthorization Before Sept. 30 Deadlines

This week, a group of NATCA legislative activists from around the country came to Washington, D.C., for a Lobby Week with the goal of educating members of Congress and their staffs about the need to prevent both a government shutdown and a lapse in FAA authorization. Both issues carry a Sept. 30 deadline for action.
Pictured (from left to right) are Anthony Schifano (Charlotte ATCT, CLT), South Carolina Congressman Tom Rice, and Matt Trimble (Columbia, ATCT, CAE). For more coverage of these special Lobby Weeks in September, please read our next NATCA Legislative Update on Sept. 14, to be delivered to you via email.
Dean Iacopelli Named Chief of Staff

Dean Iacopelli has been chosen to fill the new NATCA National Office Chief of Staff position, effective immediately. Many NATCA members and staff are very familiar with Dean as a result of his long service as a NATCA member and activist. Dean recently retired from the FAA, and he also just concluded a three-year term of office as the NATCA Regional Vice President for the Eastern Region. Prior to that, Dean was NATCA Alternate Regional Vice President for the Eastern Region and a long-serving NATCA Facility Representative at New York TRACON (N90). Dean brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about air traffic control, NATCA, and the aviation industry to his new role. We're excited to have him on board at the National Office.

B randi Teel New Editor of NATCA Insider

Brandi Teel joined the National Office staff this week as the new Public Affairs Specialist. While Brandi will have many member communications responsibilities, she will be the editor of this publication, the NATCA Insider. Brandi brings a high level of communications and public affairs expertise with her to NATCA. Brandi was the Mission Support Manager at RTCA for the past few years where she worked on RTCA's publications, website, and awards programs. Brandi also is married to NATCA member and legislative activist Jamaal Teel from  Washington Dulles ATCT. We look forward to her contributions to the NATCA Public Affairs Department.

Mike Robicheau Honored for 12 Years as NNE RVP

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert recognized Mike Robicheau at the end of his 12-year leadership of the New England Region as its Regional Vice President. They presented Robicheau with the Tim Haines Memorial Award of Honor and Distinction, otherwise known as the "Timmy Award."

"It has been a great privilege to serve our great Union as the New England Regional Vice President over the past 12 years," Robicheau said. "I truly appreciate this recognition and want to thank all my brothers and sisters that have inspired me as we all worked to improve the working conditions of our NATCA members."

In other NATCA news, MLU and BGM successfully transitioned to STARS. Read more and view photos from both facilities
Ed Mullin, NSW RVP, 1986-94: ' His Mark on NATCA, and on the People Involved, Is Truly Indelible'

Mullin: "I dearly valued our long discussions on forming NATCA, and what we were all trying so hard to achieve. We knew that we were standing on the shoulders of all those who came before. We were trying desperately to create something meaningful, and something that would last, something that would really benefit real people. Barry shared a keen love and respect for the job, and most especially, for the people who did the job.

"Barry Krasner was most certainly the man for our season, in the late 80s and early 90s. His mark on NATCA, and on the people involved, is truly indelible, and one that his wife and his family can revisit often, with so many, and with immeasurable pride." Read more

NATCA has teamed up with Ford to offer NATCA members, retirees, and household members impressive savings through the Ford X-Plan. NATCA members can take advantage this great NATCA benefit and enjoy exclusive savings that are not available to the general public.  No negotiating is needed. Members pay one low price, which includes the X-Plan savings in addition to most other publicly-offered programs. The program is extremely easy to use. Just click here to  find information on the program, the discount code, and simple steps for how to participate.  If you need help logging in to the members side of to view the X-Plan page, visit .

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'Step into Sports' CafeWell All Agency Team Challenge

The FAA is announcing its Step into Sports Step All-Agency Team Challenge starting Sept. 18. Step into Sports is a fun way to get active with your co-workers while exploring sporting events from around the world including the World Series, World Cup, Ping Pong, and Skijoring. Join or start your own team for some healthy competition among your co-workers.  Each member of the team with the highest average step count at the end of the four-week challenge wins a $100 gift card. Start registering your team beginning Sept. 11 for one week of warm-up. Read more
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