In This Issue:
ZKC & ZID Achieve Initial Operating
Capability with CPDLC
After more than a year and a half as key sites for Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC), Kansas City Center (ZKC) and Indianapolis Center (ZID) declared CPDLC Initial Operating Capability (IOC) on Nov. 15 and Nov. 18 (respectively). CPDLC is a two-way data-link system by which controllers can transmit non-urgent strategic messages to an aircraft as an alternative to voice communications. The process required many hours of training, subject matter expert (SME) changes, overtime, and data collections. The process was complicated by going through two government shutdowns.

“A special thanks to all of the national and local SMEs, NATCA Facility Technology Representatives (FTRs), and ZID controllers for helping out,” said ZID FacRep Marc Schneider. “It could not have been done without their dedication and hard work.”

The program will now be deployed throughout the 18 remaining En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) Centers. The system will continue to improve, and additional aircraft will be upgraded to participate in the program.
 
Pictured above left to right: ZID VP Beau Brown, ZID FacRep Marc Schneider, ZID Management CPDLC Lead Jim Mulder.
NATCA President Speaks on Safety and Continuous Training at Aireon Conference
NATCA President Paul Rinaldi was a keynote speaker at Aireon's air navigation service provider (ANSP) Customer Summit, where ANSP guests from Ireland, Canada, West Africa, Singapore, and other places around the world gathered to discuss Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system as well as aviation safety, policy, and technology. 

Aireon CEO Don Thoma introduced Rinaldi as a leader who is “pushing the envelope on new initiatives and improved safety and efficiency in the airspace," he said. "Under Paul's leadership, NATCA has accomplished a number of things, like the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), which is a tremendous initiative here. It shows that collaborative effort, not just by the air traffic controllers, but with the entire aerospace system.”

Rinaldi discussed NATCA’s challenge to our members and to aviation safety professionals around the world to make every day a training day. 

“FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said, ‘Safety is a journey, not a destination,’ and I feel the same way about training," Rinaldi said. "It's always a journey because the more you know, the more you realize you don't know. And I also feel that modernization is a journey, not a destination, because you're never going to get there. You're always going to need to continue to modernize."
Rinaldi added, “As we travel on this journey to modernize, enhance safety, and continue to make every day a training day, we have to fuel that journey with funding.”

He reviewed the three government shutdowns and 14 threats of shutdowns that the National Airspace System has suffered since the start of fiscal year 2018. 

“We continue to push to fund our journey to modernize our system, to make our system the safest it could possibly be, and certainly to continue to make every day a training day. Because I don't believe it's just one aviation system. I believe it's a world aviation system now and we're all in it together.” 
Left to right: NATCA Director of Safety and Technology Tom Adcock, former NATCA Director of Safety and Technology Jim Ullmann, Surveillance Broadcast Services (SBS) Article 114 NATCA National Rep Dan Hamilton, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Aireon CEO Don Thoma, and Aireon Chief Technology Officer and VP Engineering Vincent Capezzuto.
Eastern Region Hosts FacRep Meeting
The second Eastern Region (NEA) FacRep meeting of 2019 was held in Pittsburgh last month. NEA Regional Vice President (RVP) Rich Santa and Alternate RVP Kevin Maney led the meeting and opened with introductions of all members in attendance to include their current involvement, NATCA experience, and what each would like to contribute and work on for the Eastern Region. 

“It’s clear that the Eastern Region has a multitude of talented people on our team that are serving our Union in all capacities,” Santa said.

“The Eastern Region FacRep meeting was what every Union meeting should be: A reminder that NATCA is very much present, serves an invaluable purpose, and has a vision for a better future,” said New York Center (ZNY) FacRep Frank Galante. “The network of assistance NATCA has established for its members is vast, from the Disaster Relief Fund, to NATCA Reloaded, to the National Training Initiative. It’s clear NATCA has considered every member no matter their circumstance.” 

Reading ATCT (RDG) FacRep Steve Leininger said, “I felt the meeting was an invaluable experience, not only for myself, but for what I was able to bring back to my facility. I’m confident after the meeting, that I am better equipped to serve my local, quickly address their needs from the resources I gained at the event, and in turn, strengthen our Union as a whole.”

The meeting’s first day consisted of training discussions on topics important to representatives of NATCA’s members, including a presentation from NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, followed by a Q&A session. In addition, there were training modules on the current legislative concerns, drug and alcohol testing procedures, how to have a new NATCA member orientation meeting, a Disaster Response Committee update, an Election Committee update, and an NEA onboarding update. 

Day two included updates from NEA’s legislative team regarding the upcoming elections, a National Validation Team update, training on the hardship process, and information and updates about the new training initiative and the use of iPads for trainees. The day continued with information on the Eastern Region Reloaded program, training on regional finance procedures for locals, facility crisis procedures, Professional Standards information, safety and ATSAP discussions, constitution requirements for the upcoming convention, NCEPT, organizing, and pay and compensation updates.
ZLA Creates Mother's Room in Facility
Los Angeles Center (ZLA) is celebrating new moms in a special way. ZLA Air Traffic Manager Lisa Jones, member Megan Holst, and FacRep Nate Pair spearheaded a project to create a mother’s room for nursing moms in their facility.

Holst said for years, nursing mothers at ZLA, including herself, have been pumping in empty storage closets and abandoned offices down in the freezing cold basement. While privacy was sufficient, Holst said they had to do better. “Our hard-working mothers in the Agency deal with the stress of balancing shift work, childcare schedules, and being away from their babies all day,” she said. “We wanted to provide a place for new moms that would be stress-free and zen, so they could take their breaks knowing they can comfortably provide for their child.” 
ZLA FacRep Nate Pair said that this mother’s room has been a facility goal for almost three years. “It was great to have a collaborative partner in our ATM, Lisa Jones, who shared the same interest. Jointly, we wanted to provide a clean and comfortable room for our nursing mothers, and have finally been able to provide that,” he said. 

“Our ATM is a mother herself and knows what it takes to balance motherhood and working a full-time, and at times, stressful job,” added Holst. “She was very enthusiastic about the project, and everyone she involved shared in our enthusiasm of getting this project completed.”

Holst said there became a need for a “better” nursing space, as a lot of women have been hired into the Agency recently, and there have been more pregnancies. “It put pressure on us to improve our old way of doing things,” she said. “Hopefully we can inspire other facilities to hop on board and make a nice area for their nursing mothers too.”
NATCA Continues the Celebration of
Aviation History Month
November is Aviation History Month, and NATCA continues to highlight important labor milestones related to aviation history.

With nearly 600,000 active and retired members, the 131-year-old International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse labor unions in North America. It has also had a powerful effect on the lives of its members who work in the aviation industry and, in turn, on the safety of the National Airspace System.

IAM has represents a significant range of aviation workers. On the manufacturing side, IAM represents Boeing employees in the Seattle area, while on the transport side, IAM was the first union to represent aircraft mechanics. Members in their aerospace division build and service commercial and military airplanes, aircraft engines, missiles and rockets, aerospace electronics gear, satellites, and space vehicles. IAM represents companies as diverse as Harley-Davidson, Southwest Airlines, Pratt & Whitney, Freightliner, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

IAM members across the United States and Canada demand respect and dignity in the workplace. Together, its employees have been able to bargain for increased job security, higher wages, and improved benefits.

IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. recently led a Machinists Union delegation to a meeting of the world’s most powerful aerospace unions in Singapore. Martinez chairs the aerospace sector of the IndustriALL Global Union, which represents 50 million working people in 140 countries. The aerospace industry, worth $800 billion and employing millions of workers globally, has been increasing corporate profits by lowering labor costs.

“The global aerospace industry finds itself at a crossroads,” said Martinez. “One direction takes it down a path that ignores the simple fact that workers are the most valuable factors in the company’s success. The industry must choose a path that recognizes that a proud union workforce is the engine that drives a company’s success.”

IAM was formed on May 5, 1888 when 19 machinists meeting in a locomotive pit in Atlanta voted to form a trade union. Machinists then earned 20 to 25 cents an hour for a 10-hour day. In 1895, IAM joined the American Federal of Labor. Three years, later, the union conducted its first successful strike for a nine-hour day. The drive for an eight-hour day began in 1903.

In 1935, Congress adopted the National Labor Relations Act, establishing the right to organize and requiring employers to bargain in good faith. IAM opened the drive to organize the aircraft industry. A year later, the first industrial union agreement was signed with Boeing Seattle. In 1939, IAM signed its first union agreement in the air transport industry with Eastern Airlines. By 1952, employees on 85 percent of airlines were protected by IAM agreements.
Federal Virtual Benefits Fair
Ongoing Through Dec. 9
Only until Dec. 9, the Office of Personnel Management's Virtual Benefits Fair (VBF) is occurring to give information about FEDVIP, FEHB, FSAFEDS, and the FLTCIP to all federal employees who have a non-traditional schedule or are in locations or roles that do not allow for a traditional health fair. 

The VBF is available at any time, day or night. It will include three live chat days with all of the carriers. Learn more at www.ltcfeds.com .
NATCA News and Notes
NATCA 101 Goes Live!
Earlier this month, John Riopel, Chicago TRACON (C90) and Jeremy Ferg, Chicago Center (ZAU), taught NATCA 101 live at Rockford ATCT (RFD). “Thanks to the collaboration between RFD FacRep Rob Wenc and RFD acting ATM Shawn Lowry, we were able to present the class in the facility, to nearly half the members at once,” said Ferg.

The next NATCA 101 course is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. EST. Click here to register.

The Reloaded Committee wants members to know that facilities can schedule a special NATCA 101 for their members via GoToMeeting or in person. The Reloaded Committee also offers other classes including: Building a Stronger Local, Say Again, Having a Difficult Conversation, and Building Lasting Relationships which can be scheduled to be taught in-person at the facility, during regional meetings, or at solidarity events.

For more information, please email  reloaded@natca.net .
Register for the Upcoming OSHA Webinar
The NATCA OSHA committee and NATCA’s environmental consultant are hosting a webinar that will address environmental health issues in our buildings and focus on solutions provided by our contract. All commercial buildings are a challenge to manage. That challenge becomes more daunting with tight budgets, slow procurement systems, and leased buildings. This upcoming webinar will talk about the environmental health issues we face in the buildings in which we work. We will rely on our experiences in the last five years to illustrate problems and solutions. The top five challenges we will discuss are:
  • Construction Planning
  • Water Intrusion
  • Mold Growth
  • Drinking Water Quality
  • Asbestos 

Southwest Region Hosts Legislative Activism Training
NATCA's Southwest Region (NSW) hosted a Legislative Activism Training class in New Orleans as part of its efforts to increase training opportunities. "We had 16 members from across the region attend, along with a couple of members from other regions who were also able to participate," said NSW Regional Vice President Andrew LeBovidge. "The members were able to receive timely and critically important exposure to our legislative process and develop the necessary skills to keep the grassroots efforts of our Union strong.”
Great Lakes Region Hosts Secretary Treasurer Training
NATCA leaders from the Great Lakes Region (NGL) gathered in Chicago for the Secretary/Treasurer Training held Nov 19-20. Indianapolis Center (ZID) FacRep and Great Lakes Training Rep Marc Schneider, along with Cleveland Center (ZOB) member Jenn Malloy instructed the class. “The ability to have regional training greatly increases the region's training capacity,” said Schneider. “We were able to train 21 Great Lakes activists from 14 facilities in two days using the regional training model. The NATCA offerings in Las Vegas are identical to the regional offerings but the training slots are allocated and shared by all the regions. What took two days within the region would have used two years of allocations in Las Vegas. This is a win-win for NATCA.”
National Finance Committee Meeting
Pictured left to right (Back row): Eastern Region (NEA) mentee Chris Mitrotasios, New England Region (NNE) mentee Mike DiFalco, NNE rep Bill Cudney, Southern Region (NSO) rep Jay Tilles, Central Region (NCE) mentee Nate Kleoppel, NEA rep Brian Gardner, Alaskan Region (NAL) rep Doug Rice.
(Front row): Northwest Mountain (NNM) mentee Krissy Lewandowski, NAL mentee Justine Baskett, Great Lakes Region (NGL) mentee Rachel Gilmore, NGL rep Chris Wilson, Southwest Region (NSW) mentee Dontae Siders, and NNM rep Devin Carlisto.
The National Finance Committee (NFC) recently met at the NATCA National Office to discuss 2020 revenues and make proposals for the 2020 budget to the National Executive Board, review audits of local facilities, come up with strategies to help keep locals in compliance with the Department of Labor, and to begin preparing recommendations for NATCA’s 18th Biennial Convention in Houston (May 27-29, 2020).
NATCA Member Speaks on UAS Integration
NATCA Article 114 Rep for UAS Integration, Steve Weidner (pictured above, center), recently participated in two panels at the annual American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Conference. 

The first panel addressed the issue of obtaining authorization for small UAS (less than 55 lbs) operations on the airport. The panel members discussed the proper way to apply for the authorization, as well as tips for operating safely in the complex airport environment. The panel also included representatives from the FAA’s Office of Airports, FAA Air Traffic Organization’s UAS Policy Office, and AJV-115.

The second panel was a tabletop exercise on responding to persistent drone sightings and handling air traffic disruptions caused by rogue drone operations. This is currently a hot topic in the UAS world, as more and more rogue sightings are occurring in the vicinity of busy airports. The FAA is working with other agency partners to develop uniform guidance on how to respond to these dangerous and potentially nefarious operations. The panel also included representatives from TSA, DNI, FAA security, NATCA, and airport law enforcement. The panel was presented with a timeline of events and walked the audience through the actions each organization would be taking in response to the threat.
ZLA Hosts Solidarity Event
Los Angeles Center (ZLA) recently hosted a solidarity event in Palmdale, Calif. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Western Pacific (NWP) Regional Vice President (RVP) Joel Ortiz, and over 80 members and their families were in attendance where they discussed the state of ZLA, staffing across the National Airspace System, training at the Academy and the on-the-job training instructor (OJTI) initiative, and the harm being done to federal unions as they relate to the executive orders.

“It’s always great when the members are able to spend quality time with their national leadership," said ZLA FacRep and NWP alternate RVP Nate Pair. "Paul and Joel are amazing leaders, and our membership is so thankful to be able to spend time with them and ask questions.”
Cleveland Center Hosts Solidarity Event
Cleveland Center (ZOB) held a solidarity event at Play:CLE in Avon, Ohio. 

“The turnout was outstanding, with members from multiple facilities and their families in attendance,” said ZOB Legislative Rep Ronny Shonk. “NATCA members and family had the entire place to ourselves, providing the opportunity for a true solidarity atmosphere.”

While families enjoyed the Play:CLE venue, NATCA members were briefed on current and upcoming issues that have potentially significant implications for our workforce. Briefings were given by NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Great Lakes Regional Vice President Drew MacQueen, and National Legislative Committee Great Lakes Region Rep Erin Phelps. NATCA President Emeritus John Carr also provided a presentation to the NATCA members in attendance.

It was a successful event that allowed area NATCA members to come together for an afternoon of family fun, refreshments, and an update on current national events.
NATCA Member Attends NAA Fall Awards Dinner
Pictured left to right: Lead Advocate White Feather Flights Jim Hesseman, Air Care Alliance Reps Rol Murrow and Jeff Kahn, General Counsel and Senior Vice President AOPA Justine Harrison, former acting Administrator and Deputy Administrator of the FAA Linda Daschle, Secretary of the Air Force and former Deputy Director of the FAA Barbara Barrett, and NATCA Terminal Technology Coordinator Bill Geoghagan. 
Retired Savannah ATCT (SAV) controller, lifetime NATCA member, and Terminal Technology Coordinator Bill Geoghagan and his wife Denise Geoghagan represented NATCA at the recent National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Fall Awards Dinner.  

Part of NAA's mission is identifying and recognizing those who have contributed to the "art, sport and science of aviation, and space flight in the United States." 

At the Fall Awards Dinner each year, NAA presents aviation awards including the Clarence Mackay Trophy, the Katharine Wright Memorial Trophy, the Frank G. Brewer Trophy, the Wesley L. McDonald Distinguished Statesman of Aviation Award, the Harmon Aeronaut Trophy, and the Public Benefit Flying Award. Also presented are the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Awards.

“It’s a privilege to celebrate our peers for much-deserved recognition within the aviation community,” Geoghagan said. 
Why Every Day Is A Training Day
Five Questions With …

Steve Hansen, NATCA National Safety Committee Chair

Q: What was the inspiration for starting this new initiative? 

Hansen: The inspiration comes from the years of negative perceptions surrounding training and NATCA's desire to change that perception within our membership. Training is the lifeblood of the air traffic control profession and it is our belief that we need to take a leadership role in changing how we think about training and the importance of it.

Q: How can our members change the perception of training? 

Hansen: It is really about our membership leading this effort in their facilities. Ensuring that we meet our facility level goals for the national training initiative and also understanding the importance of, and actively participating in our continued education opportunities like recurrent training and monthly SAFE Discussions. It isn’t enough to say it, we have to actively engage and promote ongoing training throughout our careers. It takes all of us, not just the FacRep.
Q: You worked with risk management expert and CFS veteran speaker Gordon Graham on developing many of the themes and products to help launch this initiative. What was the experience like working with him on this and what messages from him stood out to you as particularly valuable for use with our members?   

Hansen: It was really a neat experience to work closely with Gordon Graham earlier this year in preparation for CFS and the Every Day is a Training Day effort. His work with police and fire departments around the world really gives him a unique perspective when it comes to the importance of training. The one thing that really stood out to me was that most if not all of the overarching messages related to training and risk management can be applied to air traffic control; the common denominator between the professions is that they are all high risk occupations. Gordon’s quote “Excellence has got to be the norm, not the deviation” really captures this, and is very relevant in the air traffic profession and the larger aviation industry.

Q: Is it true that the negative perception of training still exists based on previous FAA administrations’ use of training in a punitive manner? Will this new initiative put that perception to rest once and for all? 

Hansen: There is definitely still a negative perception of training due to how training has been used in the past. Working with the FAA we have definitely made a lot of progress to move past that and utilize training for its intended purpose. It is certainly our hope that we can put this negative perception to rest; however, we also realize that we may never get rid of it totally. That doesn’t mean that we won’t keep working with the FAA to move forward and ensure that we develop and deploy the best training available to our membership.

Q: What is most important for our members to know as we move forward and raise the awareness and implementation of Every Day Is A Training Day? 

Hansen: From the very first moment we arrive at our first facility, training is what we do. Qualification training is crucial to bringing our staffing levels back to where they need to be in order to maintain the safest most efficient air traffic control system in the world. But it goes beyond qualification training; just as important is continued education throughout your career. Continued education through recurrent training, refresher training, monthly Partnership for Safety SAFE Discussions, to name a few, is how we learn from developing safety trends, implement new technologies, and develop new skills.
Store Item of the Week: Acrylic Knit Scarf
Features of this product:  Stay warm during the winter with the new soft two-tone acrylic knit scarf. Made with 100% acrylic material with “NATCA” knitted on both sides.  Union-made in the United States.

Price:  $18.

To view and purchase the item, click here

Select USPS or UPS as your shipping preference on your orders. To check on stock availability or for further assistance, call 800-266-0895 or email  natcastore@natcadc.org .
Benefits Spotlight: AT&T Signature Discount.
Union Strong. Union Savings.
AT&T is the only national unionized wireless provider with nearly 150,000 organized workers. With the AT&T Signature Discount NATCA members can get a 15% discount on their monthly service charge of eligible AT&T Wireless plans. Members may take advantage of additional 20% savings on select accessories from AT&T. New Customers can also have their activation fees waived on new qualifying devices.

Please take advantage of this special discount by visiting your local AT&T store. Just bring your NATCA membership card and mention Union Plus discount number 4924966. Current AT&T customers that have already registered in the Union Member Discount Program can shop online now.

Please Visit the Union Plus website for additional details:  https://www.unionplus.org/benefits/home/att-discounts .
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