CFS 2018 Overview: 
 Safety Above All
Insider Features:

PaulKeynote Speakers
NATCA President Paul Rinaldi Welcomes All to CFS

President Paul Rinaldi spoke to the world's premier aviation safety conference - Communicating For Safety (CFS). In front of nearly 1500 attendees, he told them that "safety is in our DNA." He focused on events that have happened over the past 18 months, since the last CFS conference. He reminded the audience of the numerous hurricanes that have occurred, including devastating wildfires, shootings, and even the theft of an airplane, with the person having no intention of landing the airplane safely. "There have been so many situations like this throughout the last 18 months, and every time air traffic controllers have played a role, and risen to the occasion to keep the ATC system running, safely and orderly. Thank you for all that you do each and every day," said Rinaldi.  Read More.
FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell Addresses the Reauthorization Bill

Acting Administrator Dan Elwell delivered the keynote address on the second day of CFS. He congratulated NATCA on its re-election of Paul Rinaldi and Trish Gilbert to their fourth terms as President and Executive Vice President, respectively. "Aviation has been well served by Paul and Trish's leadership," he said. 
He spoke to the audience about the recently signed five-year FAA Reauthorization bill. He said that this is the longest reauthorization bill the FAA has had since 1982, and it gives the FAA a clear vision for the next five years. He talked about three topics specifically discussed in the reauthorization bill.  Read More.
After NATCA Honors Gordon Graham, He Delights and Educates CFS Crowd for Fifth Straight Year

NATCA gave risk management expert Gordon Graham two special honors before he took the stage at CFS for the fifth straight year. First, Graham was presented with an honorary NATCA membership that the 17th Biennial Convention voted last April in Philadelphia to bestow on him. Next, Graham was given the James Oberstar Sentinel of Safety Award.  Read More.
Major Shul Gives CFS Attendees Life Lessons

A Vietnam War veteran and former attack pilot in the U.S. Air Force, Major Brian Shul spoke at CFS 2018 on the final day of the conference about his illustrious career and the life lessons he's learned. He flew 212 combat missions but was shot down and was burned so badly that he was given almost no chance to live. He overcame his injuries, went through multiple surgeries, and eventually returned to full flight status, flying the SR-71 Blackbird. Major Shul completed a 20-year career in the Air Force.  Read More.
Paul Dye Shares His Experiences on Commercial Space

Paul Dye has over 40 years of aviation experience as an engineer, builder, and pilot. He earned his degree in aeronautical engineering with a specialization in aircraft design and flight testing from the University of Minnesota in 1982. He continued to work in increasingly responsible roles within the U.S. manned space program, both 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. "I had an amazing opportunity to serve mankind getting into space. Commercial space is coming back, and I am happy about that," he said.  Read More.
RecipientsAwards Luncheon
NATCA Award Recipients Embody the True Spirit of Professionalism

Congratulations to NATCA members recognized during the CFS Awards 
Luncheon for what they do daily to keep the National Airspace System safe.  Read More.
SessionsSessions and Panels
The Benefits of Collaborative Safety Programs
  • Steve Hansen, Chairman, National Safety Committee, NATCA 
  • Jeffrey Vincent, Vice President, Safety and Technical Training, ATO, FAA
  • Mike Blake, National Voluntary Safety Reporting Programs Representative, NATCA
  • Jon Kunowski, Chicago Center Local Safety Council Lead, NATCA
  • Ernesto Lasen, General Manager Safety Programs, ATO, FAA
  • Chrissy Padgett, National Partnership for Safety Representative, NATCA
  • Mike Schilz, Safety Information Analysis Programs, ALPA

It only takes one. One aviation accident that occurs because of a safety issue that was not raised, or discussed. One slip through the cracks.
That was the takeaway from the first panel at CFS 2018. The discussion detailed the success of collaborative safety programs, which have yielded hundreds of thousands of reports and led to the resolution of many safety issues. Panelists credited the rise of a robust safety culture that replaced a destructive punitive culture, with ushering in an era where non-punitive, confidential safety reporting programs give the National Airspace System the best opportunity to improve safety and prevent problems from becoming disasters.  Read More.
Surface Safety
  • Emily Banuelos, Runway Safety Team Manager, Western Service Area, ATO, FAA
  • Dan Hamilton, Surface Surveillance Representative, NATCA
  • Bridget Singratanakul, National Runway Safety Representative, NATCA

The Surface Safety panelists detailed wrong surface events that happen in the National Airspace System (NAS). A wrong surface event is where an aircraft approaches or lands at the wrong airport, on the wrong runway, or lines up on a wrong taxiway. A little over 1,000 wrong surface events have occurred over the last two and a half years, and they are considered part of the top five hazards in aviation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).   Read More.
Contingency Operations in the NAS
  • Jason Grider, Contingency Operations Representative, NATCA
  • Trey Madrid, Contingency Operations Staff Specialist, NATCA Command Center
Jason Grider
Trey Madrid
The goal of Contingency Operations is to ensure each facility in the National Airspace System has a contingency plan if an incident occurs that results in ATC-Zero being declared. 

"We look at how we can start traffic moving again once ATC-Zero occurs. People may be evacuated at these facilities but planes don't go away," said Madrid.   Read More.
The Importance of Including  Human 
Factors  in Training
Introduced by:  Tom Adcock, National Training Representative, NATCA


Speaker: Richard Kennington, Recurrent Training, NATCA

NATCA Recurrent Training Representative Richard Kennington (Portland ATCT) spoke about the importance of human factors and why it is necessary in ATC recurrent trainings. "We are all subjected to human factors," he said. Human factors can be described as how humans best interact with machines and influence the outcomes.   Read More.
Moving the NAS Towards a Trajectory 
 Based System
  • Kris Burnham, VP, Program Management Office, ATO, FAA 
  • Jim Ullmann, Director, Safety & Technology, NATCA
  • Rob Goldman, Sr. Manager, Air Traffic Management, Delta Air Lines
  • Phil Hargarten, Northeast Corridor WG Co-Lead, NATCA
  • Marc Henegar, Air Traffic Services Group Chair, ALPA
  • Rob Hunt, Senior Technical Advisor to the VP of the PMO, FAA
  • Mark McKelligan, Director, Safety & Technology, NATCA
  • Michele Merkle, Director of Operational Integration, Air Traffic Services, FAA
  • Jeff Woods, National PMO Representative, NATCA

One of the new concepts within global aviation is Trajectory Based Operations (TBO). TBO is Performance Based Navigation (PBN) plus Time Based Management (TBM). The panel discussed how TBO will have an impact on the National Airspace System (NAS) and how it will operate in the near future.   Read More.
Challenges to Operating the NAS: Implementing Emerging Technologies
  • Steve Hansen, Chairman, National Safety Committee, NATCA 
  • Hassan Shahidi, Director of Safety and New Entrants Integration, MITRE
  • Vincent Capezzuto, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Engineering, Aireon
  • Kelvin Coleman, Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation, FAA
  • Lori Garver, General Manager, ALPA
  • Trish Gilbert, Executive Vice President, NATCA
  • Paul McDuffee, Business Development Executive, Boeing HorizonX
  • Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Trish Gilbert called funding the number one challenge to efficiently operating the NAS. She said the number two challenge is the mandatory six-day workweeks for controllers at many facilities around the country. Regarding funding she said, "It's very positive that we have an FAA bill for five years, but we only have a government funding bill through December 7th. So again, that is a challenge."  Read More.

After the conclusion of the session, panelist Vincent Capezzuto made a presentation to NATCA on behalf of Aireon. He announced that Aireon has honored NATCA and named a satellite, currently in orbit, after our Union. Read More.
Integrating Remotely Piloted Aircraft into the NAS
  • Jeff Richards, NATCA National UAS Representative
  • Steve Weidner,  NATCA National UAS Representative
  • Dallas Brooks, Director, Raspet Flight Research Laboratory & Associate Director, ASSURE FAA UAS Center of Excellence
  • Lt. Col. Aaron "Copper" Brown, 108 ATKS Director of Operations, Syracuse Air National Guard
  • Sean Cassidy, Amazon Prime Air
  • Sandy Gregoire, Syracuse Tower/TRACON, NATCA
  • Parimal Kopardekar, NASA
  • Randy Willis, UAS Integration Manager, ATO, FAA

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), also known as remotely piloted aircraft, are the fastest growing entrants into the National Airspace System (NAS). As more and more UAS enter the airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and industry are working with ATC to create safe processes and regulations for UAS to integrate with commercial airlines and general aviation.  Read More.
Commercial Space
Introduction:  Kevin McLaughlin, Commercial Space Rep, NATCA

Speaker:  Kevin Hatton, FAA Licensing Manager, SpaceX

Commercial space has become more and more enticing and has been included for funding in the recent FAA Reauthorization bill. Against that backdrop, SpaceX's FAA Licensing Manager, Kevin Hatton, discussed the commercial space company, created by Elon Musk, and its accomplishments since its inception in 2002. The mission of SpaceX is to revolutionize space technology with the ability to have people live on other planets. The ultimate goal is to create technologies to get humanity to Mars.  Read More.
Aviation Industry's View from Outside the FAA
  • Jim Ullmann, Director of Safety and Technology, NATCA 
  • Brenda Boone, President of Human Solutions, Inc.
  • Rachel Jackson, Executive Technical Director Transportation and Support Services Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS), Raytheon Company
  • Kate Hallahan, Team Hallahan, LLC
  • Jarrod Thompson, Airlines for America
  • Donna McLean, Donna McLean Associates, LLC
  • Todd Hauptli, President and CEO, AAAE
  • Dave Holz, Senior Vice President, Operations and Customer Center, Delta Air Lines

Moderators Jim Ullmann and Brenda Boone led a discussion exploring the view that other segments of the aviation industry have about the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Topics included safety, modernization, airport and airline operations, legislative affairs, and funding.
"Do you believe there is a change in how NATCA is viewed?" Ullmann asked the panel.  Read More.
TRIED, TRUE, and TESTED - Aviation Safety Professionals
Moderator:  Trish Gilbert, Executive Vice President, NATCA

  • Anthony Borgert, FacRep, Las Vegas TRACON (L30), NATCA 
  • Kimberly Brooks, Certified Professional Controller, S46, NATCA
  • Jamaal Haltom, FacRep, Las Vegas ATCT (LAS), NATCA
  • Steve Jangelis, Aviation Safety Chairman, ALPA
  • Jared Mike, FacRep, Seattle TRACON (S46), NATCA
  • Lyn Montgomery, President, TWU Local 556, The Union of Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants
  • Jon Weaks, President, SWAPA

FAA Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol introduced the panel, which took a close look at how aviation safety professionals handled four incidents over the last 15 months: an Air Canada aircraft that erroneously lined up to land on a crowded taxiway at San Francisco International Airport; the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting at a concert on the Las Vegas Strip adjacent to the McCarran International Airport; the April 2018 emergency involving the catastrophic engine failure on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380; and the August 2018 stolen Horizon Air plane by a suicidal Horizon employee who flew it above the Seattle-Tacoma area before crashing on a wooded island.  Read More.
NCFNATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF)

Attendees at Communicating For Safety (NCF) were very generous with their charitable donations to the NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF). A total of $27,000 was raised. In addition, donations made through payroll deductions were increased by over $10,000 per year. 

Activities included a poker tournament ($2,950), a silent auction, and a live auction that raised $6,695. 

The highlight was a framed original piece of art inspired by a photograph of NATCA charter and founding member and President Emeritus Barry Krasner, who passed away in July. The artwork raised $3,100 of the evening's total; $1,000 of it was bid by a member from New York TRACON (N90) - Krasner's home facility - and the other $2,100 was contributed by several other bidders combined to ensure the item went to N90.
BreakoutsEnroute and Terminal Breakouts

CFS hosted Breakout sessions for Enroute and Terminal facilities on the following subjects: 
  • Professional Standards
  • ATC Procedures
  • CISM - Critical Incident Stress Management
  • Collaboration
  • Partnership for Safety
  • Training

Click Here to read about each of the Breakout sessions in detail.

NextUpNext Up

Women make up only 16.5 percent of our workforce and 35 percent of our Union's activists. Encouraging and developing effective leaders with diverse experiences is one of NATCA's priorities. At CFS, the Inaugural Next Up NATCAvist Reception welcomed 20 up-and-coming activists, with a focus on women, in our Union. 
NATCA Leaders included NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Salt Lake Center (ZLC) FacRep Stephanie Winder, Reloaded Committee Chair Dawn Johnson, Reloaded Committee member Sam Navarro, National Partnership for Safety Rep Chrissy Padgett, National Safety Committee Chair Steve Hansen, Southwest Regional Vice President Andrew LeBovidge, Director of Safety and Technology Jim Ullmann, and Manager of Outreach and National Events Kelly Richardson. The leaders discussed their experiences within NATCA and how they became involved, along with opportunities for the participants to further their involvement.
FA A Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol was also present and spoke to the members. The event was sponsored by CFS Bronze Sponsor and Premium Corporate Member CSSI, Inc., with Owner Cindy Castillo and President Kelly Caccetta in attendance.

ArchiesArchie League Medal of Safety Awards Banquet
The ability to think quickly and remain calm under pressure while maintaining situational awareness are just some of the unique qualities that air traffic controllers possess. Their willingness to resolve complex situations without hesitation, offer a reassuring voice to those on the frequency, and the ability to coordinate their efforts with other controllers help these dedicated professionals be successful at maintaining the safety of the National Airspace System.
While many controllers often feel that they are "just doing their job," their hard work is often viewed by others as remarkable and extraordinary. The Archie League Medal of Safety Awards were named for the first air traffic controller, Archie League. The program highlights a variety of aviation "saves" - some which involve a team of controllers working together, while others are the result of one controller's efforts.

Click Here to view the 2018 Archie League opening message from FAA Air Traffic Organization COO Teri Bristol.
Region X Commitment to Safety Award - Ernest Gubry and Irene Porter

RVP Curt Howe: "Theirs is the type of important work that occurs regularly around the country, and doesn't get a lot of attention."  Read More.

Watch Banquet Presentation.
New England Region - Jesse Belleau

RVP Mick Devine: "When the call 'smoke in the cockpit, fire confirmed' came over the frequency, Jesse reacted with the speed required to lead to the safe outcome of what otherwise could have been a very tragic event."  Read More.

Alaskan Region - Scott Eastepp

RVP Clint Lancaster: "Without Scott's familiarity with Alaskan airspace and known VFR routes pilots like to fly, it is likely that the aircraft would not have been found or found too late to save the lives of pilot Josh Smith and his family."  Read More.

Eastern Region - Jeffrey Haberland and Tim Krainak

RVP Rich Santa: "When the pilot of a Grumman American AA-5 experienced adverse conditions, he was able to safely land with critical assistance from Jeff and Tim."  Read More.

Great Lakes Region - Daniel Rak

RVP Drew MacQueen: "Stuck among the clouds with ice building, Daniel worked tirelessly to find the closest airport and encouraged the pilot to land." 

Northwest Mountain Region - Christopher Bancroft and Jacques Mailloux

RVP Eddie DeLisle: "When Jacques and Chris went work at Rocky Mountain Metro, they encountered a very unusual situation we don't train for, but they did exactly the right thing..."  Read More.

Northwest Mountain Region - Jeffrey Rawson

RVP Eddie DeLisle: "Jeff was receiving the position relief briefing from a supervisor who had been working the position when he noticed a primary target on the runway moving toward SKW5843."  Read More.

Watch Banquet Presentation.

Central Region - Josh Giles

RVP Aaron Merrick: "Josh used all of the tools at his disposal to ensure the safe landing of an aircraft in distress, all while handling the normal pressures of the job."  Read More.

Watch Banquet Presentation.

Southern Region - Josh Hall, Patrick Johnson, Jeremy Lee, Darren Tumelson, Tommy Vaughn, and Andrew White

RVP Jim Marinitti: "Unable to locate the plane's emergency manual, controllers were able to contact a friend of the pilot's, and eventually got Piper's chief pilot on the line."  Read More.

Watch Banquet Presentation.

Western Pacific Region - Ben Kingston

RVP Joel Ortiz: "Ben was working local control when his instinct and attention prevented a potential catastrophe."  Read More.

  Watch Banquet Presentation.

Western Pacific Region - Scott Allen

RVP Joel Ortiz: "Scott's quick reaction during this event, sending me around, was critical to avoiding a potentially disastrous outcome."  Read More.

Watch Banquet Presentation.

Southwest Region - Phil Enis, Thomas Herd and Hugh Hunton

RVP Andrew LeBovidge: "After exhausting several avenues to contact the pilot by transmitting on the emergency frequency, and attempting to relay through other aircraft, the team still hadn't been able to reach the Cessna."  Read More.

Presidents Award - Southwest and Southern Regions

The President's Award is chosen by NATCA President Paul Rinaldi from the list of regional Archie League Medal of Safety Award-winning events as the best flight assist of the year. This year, Rinaldi declared a tie for the President's Award and chose two save events, performed by a team of air traffic controllers from Fort Worth Center and Memphis Center.

SponsorsThank You CFS 2018 Sponsors

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