Insider Features:
Becoming the Best at our Chosen Profession: Renewed Energy with a Training Focus
The NATCA Safety & Technology Leadership Council and the National Safety Committee members concluded their meeting this week, returning home with renewed focus and passion for one important safety topic: training.

“The purpose behind this focus is to help our members understand that training is something that continues throughout our entire career,” said National Training Representative Tom Adcock. “Whether it is new procedures, new equipment, or new rules, training is a part of a continuous self-improvement process, from the time we start as a developmental, to the time we retire. We should always be looking for ways to improve our performance as a workforce to make sure we are always operating at peak levels whenever we plug in.”

With the renewed focus on the importance of training for the members, the National Safety Committee unveiled a new logo and slogan for Communicating For Safety (CFS) 2019, Sept. 16-18 at Bally’s Las Vegas. “Every Day is a Training Day” reflects the ongoing effort to change the way the workforce perceives training.

“To a large degree, training has always been seen as punitive and for good reason: the FAA used training in a punitive manner,” National Safety Committee Chairman Steve Hansen said. “Even though those days are over, and have been over for years, the perception for many still exists.”

“Pilots embrace training on a daily basis, and we as aviation safety professionals need to do the same,” said President Paul Rinaldi. “We have to combat complacency to continue to be 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.”

Hansen and the other members of the CFS Planning Committee are accepting the challenge with this year’s CFS to confront the status quo and emphasize the importance of training. They are also working to challenge the membership to pursue professional development throughout their aviation career. The committee is hoping the workforce embraces a willingness to learn daily.

“Professional athletes train in order to be the best they can be at their chosen profession. We should strive to do the same, taking every opportunity to be the best at our chosen profession,” said Hansen. “One simple way is by learning from mistakes that are made and safety trends in the system. This is a foundational approach to ensure the U.S. maintains its position as the safest aviation system in the world.”

Speaking more on CFS, Hansen said that attending is vital to anyone who works in the aviation industry. The Committee has worked to provide a focus on the importance of training, but there will also be new and relevant topics. “We are always working to improve the conference by listening to suggestions from previous year’s attendees,” he said.

Registration for CFS opens on April 16. Visit the CFS website for more information and a recap from previous CFS events.
NATCA Member Bestowed Prestigious Honor from National Pathfinder Association
Last week, the nation commemorated National Vietnam War Veterans Day to honor those who sacrificed so much. For one Vietnam War veteran who holds a special place in the leadership history of NATCA, this year’s remembrance of those who served carries more significance due to a long overdue, rare, and prestigious honor recently and finally bestowed upon him.

After 53 years of fighting for what he felt he properly earned and was denied, retired charter member Joe Bellino -- the Union’s first Great Lakes Regional Vice President (1988-1991) and second Executive Vice President (1991-94) -- was invited by the National Pathfinder Association (NPA) to become a lifetime associate member. The invitation came after a long process in which Bellino convinced the NPA to validate that he was, in fact, a Pathfinder during his tour of duty in Vietnam.

The NPA is a chartered non-profit organization which supports active duty and retired veteran Pathfinders from World War II forward in U.S. military history. The two primary missions of Pathfinders are combat air control and downed aircraft recovery. The teams on which Bellino served were involved in combat air control. Pathfinders are the first to be deployed in a battlefield and operate in small 5-7 man teams to set up landing zones (LZs) providing air traffic control instructions to all aircraft arriving into the LZ for the combat operation. Read more.
UAS Co-Lead Jeff Richards Retires
NATCA's co-lead for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Jeff Richards retired on Dec. 31, 2018, after a 28-year career serving the flying public. In honor of his service to UAS integration, Richards’s FAA UAS counterparts recently held a ceremony to celebrate him.

FAA Manager of the Emerging Technologies Team Randy Willis, who has primary responsibility for UAS policy in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, coordinated with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to gift Richards an American flag that flew on a UAS MQ-9 Predator mission along the southern border of the United States. The MQ-9 serves CBP’s anti-terrorism mission by helping to identify and intercept potential illegal cross-border activity. It is among the aircraft that Richards helped safely integrate into the National Airspace System (NAS) as part of the FAA-NATCA UAS Working Group.
“I was honored to be remembered in such a manner that is so connected to the work that we are doing,” Richards said. “Implementing unmanned aircraft into the NAS safely is a job shared by many across NATCA's bargaining units, and I was just one part of an immense effort shared by brothers and sisters nationwide.” 

At NATCA's 17th Biennial Convention in Philadelphia, Richards received the Dale Wright Award for his extraordinary contributions in making the U.S. NAS the world’s safest. The award symbolizes a career devoted to service to NATCA and safety.

Richards will continue to represent NATCA through the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations (IFATCA) at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Panel (RPASP) , and in other duties internationally.

Click here to read more on Richards’s career and the Dale Wright award he received.
Members Travel to Hong Kong in Preparation for Upcoming IFATCA Conference
Washington Center (ZDC) member Jaymi Steinberg, who serves on the Technical Operations Committee (TOC) of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA), and Denver TRACON (D01) member Deidre Hatchard, who serves on the Professional & Legal Committee (PLC) of IFATCA, recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong for a meeting to review working papers for the upcoming 58th IFATCA Conference in Costa Rica.

“It’s always interesting to hear many different perspectives, but at their core so many of the issues we face here in the U.S. as air traffic controllers are similar to the rest of the world,” Steinberg said. “Think for a moment how many people are involved on a single flight from London to Perth, from the obvious pilots and controllers to the baggage handlers, airport designers, and passengers. All over the world, we are all in need of better staffing, seeking better working conditions, and striving to keep things running safely.”
“It is an important and rewarding experience to represent the U.S. on the PLC,” Hatchard said. “States, countries, and member associations bring their problems or issues to IFATCA, and then the committees within IFATCA are tasked with looking for solutions to help them. Hearing about issues around the world and then creating policy to assist our member associations in dealing with the issues has been eye-opening and very gratifying. As controllers, we are truly one community as the major problem among all of us is staffing. Hearing that many facilities are as understaffed or worse is both comforting, in that we are not alone, and alarming. There are many other issues the U.S. shares with others around the world, as well as big differences." Read more.
NATCA News and Notes
Oakland Members Host Solidarity Event with NEB Members
In conjunction with the March NATCA National Executive Board (NEB) meeting, around 60 Northern California NATCA members joined in solidarity for a meet and greet with NEB members at Plank in Oakland, Calif. The venue has bowling and video games for attendees. 

“A number of the members bowled, and they had a great time with it,” said Oakland Tower (OAK) FacRep Kristin Simms. “Members always look forward to the opportunity to interact face to face with our Union leadership and other local facility members.”

Excited to greet Northern California members were President Paul Rinaldi, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Alaskan Regional Vice President (RVP) Clint Lancaster, Central RVP Aaron Merrick, Eastern RVP Rich Santa, Great Lakes RVP Drew MacQueen, New England RVP Mick Devine, Northwest Mountain RVP Alex Navarro, Region X RVP Curt Howe, Southern RVP Jim Marinitti, Southwest RVP Andrew LeBovidge, and Western Pacific RVP Joel Ortiz.
Alaskan and Northwest Mountain Regions Host Regional Meeting in Boise, Idaho
Alaskan (NAL) and Northwest Mountain (NNM) Region FacReps met in Boise last week for their regional meeting. Presentations were made by Disaster Response Committee Member Caty Gallucci, Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team Chairman Chris Schenk, National UAS Representative Steve Weidner, NNM Legislative Rep Richard Kennington, NNM Drug & Alcohol Rep Alex Navarro (who took over as NNM Regional Vice President [RVP] on April 1), National Safety Committee Chairman Steve Hansen, and members of the Reloaded Committee.

“The meeting was packed full of good information about other aspects of NATCA that reps don’t deal with regularly,” said NAL RVP Clint Lancaster. “We had great briefings and a great overview about national NATCA issues from Paul (Rinaldi) and Trish (Gilbert). It was a great event with great solidarity between NAL and NNM.”

Denver Center (ZDV) FacRep Joshua Waggener shared similar sentiments, adding, “It was great to be able to share this time with our brothers and sisters from up north. We definitely made the most of our day-and-a-half agenda and sent all the attendees back to their facilities with some new tools to help better serve their membership.”
Virginia Beach Welcomes Eastern Region FacReps
An Eastern Region FacRep meeting was recently held in Virginia Beach, Va. The two-day meeting allowed NATCA local leaders to come together and discuss key issues happening within the Eastern Region. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert gave a very informative briefing to the region's leadership about current issues and answered questions. Over the course of the two days, topics discussed included the pay calculator developed due to the government shutdown, the National Validation Team mission, the Professional Standards Program, labor relations and contract article training, NCEPT and the NEST process, legislative activism, and the newly formed Disaster Response Committee. 
Atlanta Hosts Legislative Activism Training Course
NATCA Southern Region (NSO) recently hosted a Legislative Activism Training class for NSO members in Atlanta. Seattle Center (ZSE) member Denise Spencer, a former National Legislative Committee member, and NSO Alternate Regional Vice President Jason Arnold were the course instructors. Members learned about the legislative process and the vital role NATCAvists play in protecting the Union's interests.

“For many, it was an introduction on how they will conduct meetings on Capitol Hill during their first time at NATCA in Washington,” Georgia State Legislative Coordinator Jenny Chhetri said.

Then, together with the legislative class, NSO hosted a solidarity event at Line Creek Brewing Co. in Peachtree City, Ga., for about 115 Atlanta-area members. NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, NSO Regional Vice President Jim Marinitti, Alternate National Legislative Committee member Anthony Schifano, Arnold, and Spencer attended the event with members and enjoyed barbecue while discussing legislative activism and the importance of educating elected officials about the needs of aviation safety and the National Airspace System.
Left to right: Trish Gilbert, NSO RVP Jim Marinitti, and ZSE member and LAT instructor Denise Spencer
Left to right: A80 FacRep Jacob James, ZTL FacRep Dan McCabe, ATL FacRep Paul Stearns
“It was great to see friends and meet so many new members, a couple of whom were hired because NATCA worked to change the law (in 2016) to raise the age limit (to 35) for experienced controllers,” Gilbert said.
Building a Stronger Local
Top row left to right: NATCA Staff Kelly Richardson, NNM RVP Alex Navarro, ZSE FacRep Derek Adams, ZSE C Area Rep Jason Rodriquez. Bottom row left to right: NWM Regional Reloaded Rep Samantha Navarro (Seattle ATCT, SEA), ZSE Vice President Amy Sizemore, ZSE Treasurer Devin Carlisto, Reloaded Committee Chair Dawn Johnson (Atlanta Center, ZTL).
Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President Alex Navarro, Reloaded Committee Chair Dawn Johnson (Atlanta Center, ZTL), and NATCA Deputy Director of Public Affairs Kelly Richardson visited Seattle Center (ZSE) to teach NATCA Reloaded’s workshop, "Building a Stronger Local." 

ZSE's local e-board learned leadership skills and organizational strategies to work together as a successful team. The full-day workshop is designed for local executive boards to enhance the strength of their locals by emphasizing the importance of teamwork, education, and communication.

"Building a stronger local starts with your local leadership and those members who step up to fill other important roles, from legislative activist to safety rep and more," Navarro said. "Each individual member plays a part in building the strength of the local as a whole.”
Greensboro Tower Celebrates Full NATCA Membership
Congratulations to Greensboro ATCT (GSO), a 100 percent NATCA facility. “Recognizing and congratulating the members when we reached the goal was an important part of achieving 100 percent membership,” GSO FacRep Ryan Hampton said. “New employees are signed up immediately, and transfers are asked to join when they arrive. The goal of maintaining 100 percent is widely publicized, and I make it a point to remind our membership the number is very important.”

Hampton is serving his fourth year as facility representative, with 32 NATCA members at the facility, including 31 air traffic control specialists and one staff support specialist, as well as one Retired NATCA Active Volunteer (RNAV) Lifetime member who works as a contractor in the training department. Hampton advises other locals trying to achieve the 100 percent mark to speak to their non-members, one-on-one.

“Ask them what they want to see in our organization,” Hampton said. “Educate them on the programs and initiatives NATCA supports and invite them to join. It can be hard to have the talk, but talking is a better alternative than just assuming someone won’t join. Sometimes just asking them to join is all it takes.”

One unique aspect of GSO is the wide range of experience among the membership.

“Our most senior member started in 1990 after the screen in Oklahoma City, following his service in the Air Force. Our most junior member started in 2018 as a direct hire from the Air Force,” Hampton said.
NATCA Members Participate in Clippers SciFest SoCal
NATCA members Ian Lewis (Southern California TRACON, SCT) and Jonathan Eagle (Van Nuys ATCT, VNY) shared their passion for aviation with hundreds of kids at a science and engineering festival. Together with the NBA’s L.A. Clippers, the non-profit organization Science Spark hosted this year’s inaugural Southern California festival at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The goal of the Clippers SciFest SoCal, like that of its parent event, the USA and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., is to inspire a new generation of STEM professionals.

“It was a great event, and it was the first time they did it out in L.A.,” Eagle said. “Kids K-12 were invited, so it was an excellent opportunity to speak to kids of all ages and educate them and their teachers about our jobs as air traffic controllers. I look forward to representing NATCA in future outreach events.”

“It's a privilege to represent our Union at events that advocate the importance of what we do,” Lewis added. “To able to share my passion with our youth is something I don’t take for granted.”

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) also delivered the excitement of flight as EAA’s Spirit of Aviation mobile unit, sponsored by NATCA, exhibited at the festival. The traveling exhibit introduces aviation to attendees through hands-on activities to engage people of all ages. The Spirit of Aviation experience encompasses immersive activities and virtual reality, giving visitors a glimpse into flight, inviting them to be part of the aviation community
The Spirit of Aviation mobile unit will be making 11 appearances in seven states during 2019. Its next appearance will be April 13-14 at the Wings Over South Texas Air Show in Corpus Christi, Texas.
San Juan CERAP Hosts Elementary School Student Council
The Antilles Elementary School Student Council recently visited the air traffic control facilities in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While there, the students had the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the professions of ATC and aviation safety. “It is great to have the students come to our facilities to learn about aviation and to excite them about STEM education,” said San Juan CERAP (ZSU) FacRep Woody Camp. “Information sessions like this help to increase diversity within the aviation industry.” The event was such a success that once they returned to school, some students were asked to share their experience by oral presentation with other students.
2019 NATCA Retirement Seminar and Webinar Schedule
One of the most important member benefits that NATCA provides is expert planning and guidance about your retirement. This year, we are pleased to offer you retirement seminars in 29 cities, provided by 4 Square Financial Literacy Partners, Inc.

Each location will host two financial literacy workshops: one standard seminar geared toward members with more than 15 years of service (the first day), and one Career Optimization and Retirement Education (C.O.R.E.) seminar geared towards members in the first 15 years of their career (the second day). The full schedule is listed above. In addition, five retirement webinars are scheduled for April 11, June 6, July 18, Oct. 3, and Dec. 5. They each begin at 10 a.m. CDT.

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. First time using the Portal? Click here to register. Forgot your username (member number)? Click here . Forgot password? Click here .

For more information, questions, or any problems with registration, please contact Angelina Crutchfield at the National Office: 202-628-5451 or
National Professionalism Award
The goal of NATCA's Professional Standards program is to maintain and promote professionalism across all of NATCA's bargaining units. We achieve that through a commitment to safety and the public's trust. We work to inspire, motivate, and provide personal examples of our professionalism to others, all while maintaining the highest standard of excellence. We know our actions represent all our fellow professionals, and we know to bring honor and respect to all that we do.

The NATCA Professionalism Award was created to recognize the actions of those who continually strive to achieve these goals. Any NATCA member may nominate another member for the award, with no limit on the number of nominations received from a single facility, region, or service area. Only members in good standing will be eligible for the award(s).

Submit nominations through this link or email . All nominations are due by June 17.
Archie League Deadline: April 30
Nominate a deserving aviation safety professional to be recognized at 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, which involve a team of professionals working together, as well as others that are the result of just one person's efforts. Any NATCA member can nominate another member in good standing before the April 30, 2019 deadline.  Click here  for more information. The awards will be presented on Sept. 18, 2019 at the Communicating For Safety conference in Las Vegas.
Store Item of the Week: Fold and Go Stand
Features of this product: This fully adjustable stand is perfect for tablets or other mobile digital devices. It is durable, elegant, simple, and effective. The stand is made of heavy vinyl-coated steel wire and has a pouch attached to store headphones or a charger. It’s compatible with Apple iPad, Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, Droid XYBoard, and other e-readers. If you are constantly on the go, then you need a NATCA Fold and Go Stand to help manage your device. Union-made in the United States.

Price: $10.

To see the item and how to order: 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 .
Member Benefits: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Whether you are planning a long summer vacation or just a weekend getaway, let NATCA’s Member Benefits and Wyndham Hotel Group make your lodging decision easier. As a member of NATCA, you are entitled to up to a 20 percent discount off the best available rate at more than 7,500 participating Wyndham hotel group locations worldwide. Book online or call (800-407-9832) and give the agent your special discount ID number 1000007487 at time of booking to receive your NATCA member discount.

Whether you are looking for an upscale hotel, an all-inclusive resort, or something more cost-effective, Wyndham has the right hotel for you, all at the right price.