In This Issue:
Happy Mother's Day!
We wish all NATCA mom's a Happy Mother's Day! Being a mother is such a special privilege. Mothers are special because they work around the clock and do everything for their families and children. NATCA mom's are hard working mom's that are able to manage their jobs and households. We asked NATCA moms questions about parenting and how it relates to working in the field of aviation. Please see the answers below.
What do you hope your kid(s) know and remember about you being in the field of aviation and a Union member mom? 

Mary Ann Hall, Houston Hobby ATCT (HOU): I knew very little about unions before NATCA, so I want that to be different for my daughter. She will be raised in a home with two active Union member parents, and I want her to be active too. I want her to know the importance of workers’ rights and, more importantly, how to fight for oneself and others. I hope from watching me participate in NATCA duties, my daughter will grow into a woman that knows her self worth, is smart and strategic, and will want to make the world a better place by helping anyone and everyone. 

Shyan Lasater, Palm Springs ATCT (PSP): I hope my boys remember my union activism, speaking up for the working class and showing that we are stronger together. 

Laura Lopez, Washington Dulles ATCT (IAD): I'm so proud to see my fellow moms at work, doing it all, and somehow making it look easy even though I know it's one of the hardest things in the world. I hope my kids someday see the value in having a working mother and that it balances out the times I couldn't be there.

Caryn Morrison, Salt Lake City Center (ZLC): My daughter, Madalyn, has known NATCA since the day she was born. She’s been coming to events with me since she was very small. I hope she remembers the solidarity that comes from being in a strong union and how much our Union takes care of us. 

Sarah Robbins, Minneapolis Center (ZMP): In raising two girls and being a female controller in a mostly male dominated profession, I hope they realize that they can do or be anything they want with hard work and determination. It sure does warm my heart and make me proud to hear both of them at ages three and six say they want to be air traffic controllers like their mommy though.

Zoe Roberts, Minneapolis Center (ZMP): I have told my son before that I am his union rep when he has gotten in trouble at school or elsewhere. I don't always approve of what he has done, but will make sure he is being treated properly. I will also tell him when he is not meeting his professional standards.
What’s the hardest thing about raising kid(s) as a parent in the field of air traffic control? What’s the best thing?

Lasater: The hardest part about being an air traffic control (ATC) parent is being on shift work and missing events and regular holidays. On the other hand, that also makes it that much more special when we do celebrate, even if that means celebrating Thanksgiving on a Tuesday.

Laura Lopez: By far the hardest thing about being a controller mom is the work schedule. The schedule isn't conducive to raising kids. It's hard to miss mornings, bedtime, extracurriculars, etc. But from pumping in the break room to video chatting our kids goodnight, we moms make it work. 

Morrison: The hardest part about being a controller mom is the schedule. We do have some flexibility, but I’ve missed a lot of things I wish I didn’t. Thankfully, my daughter understands and is very supportive. The best thing about being active in our Union is the relationships I’ve developed. It really does take a village to raise a child, and my union brothers sisters have been there for Madalyn and myself every step of the way. 

Robbins: As I’m sure a lot of controller parents can relate, the hardest part of raising children as a controller can be finding childcare you trust to be there for your night or midnight shifts. It takes an army of help, especially as a single parent! With our schedules being difficult, it also can be the best at the same time. Shift work and leave, if available, allows me to not miss out on important events in my children’s life.

Roberts: The hardest thing about being a controller parent is trying to get him where he is supposed to be while I am at work. The best thing is being able to switch or trade shifts to make schedules work with kids.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned from being a parent that you apply to your union activism or aviation safety role? Are there lessons from union activism and/or aviation that apply to parenting? 

Lasater: Having three boys keeps me on my toes, and much like the frequency, silence is suspicious. I'm always ready with plans B, C, D, and so on, if plan A doesn't work out. Being a mom has definitely taught me patience, especially when it comes to student pilots. Occasionally I may have to use my "mom voice" to get control of the frequency, but it does the trick. 

Sasha Lopez, Evansville ATCT (EVV): Being a parent has definitely helped me be a more patient communicator, even if I have to slow down to make sure messages are sent and received correctly.

Morrison: I think the ability to juggle a lot of things at once is the best lesson I can apply to parenting. My daughter has a lot of things going on right now, and if I hadn’t learned to handle a lot of different things all at once as a controller, I don’t think that I would be able to deal with all of the issues and activities of my daughter. Being able to prioritize many things based on need has been invaluable. Parenting at times can be more stressful than controlling airplanes.

Roberts: I apply what I know from training a brand new developmental to raising a teenager. Sometimes you think things are obvious like making a grilled cheese sandwich, but sometimes he needs to have it shown to him step-by-step.
Part 3: APA Member Jamie Sanders Discusses Pilot-ATC Communications With First Blue Angels Female Pilot, Katie Cook
In part three of their four-part conversation, NATCA member and experienced pilot Jamie Sanders (Denver/Centennial ATCT, APA) and Major Katie Cook, a third-generation military aviator and the first female Navy Blue Angels pilot, focused on pilot-controller communications. 

“I would say that ATC and talking on the radios is way harder than flying an actual airplane,” Cook said. “I know that sounds weird, but being able to manipulate the airplane and put it where you want to, that’s all on you and you can fly and practice that. But communicating with someone outside the airplane is scary, and you know that everyone else on the radio can hear you, so you’re gonna sound dumb if you mess this up.”

Cook recalled as a young pilot, on her kneeboard - a cockpit accessory used to organize charts, paperwork, and digital devices - she wrote out scripts of what she needed to say to controllers, including things like how to request a clearance.

“I had it all written out because I was so scared I was going to mess it up,” she said.

That mindset changed, Cook said, when an instructor aboard her C-130 suggested she think of ATC as another crew member, but just not in the airplane with you. Further cementing that thinking last year was an incident near the El Centro Naval air facility in California involving a KC-130 that made contact in the air with a jet during refueling and made an emergency landing. Cook said the controllers jumped right in to do everything needed to handle that situation.

“It’s very unusual for a pilot to call 911 himself, or herself,” Cook said. “The controller’s already on top of that. They’ve got your back and they’re looking out for you so it’s just another crew member that just happens to not be physically with you. Once I could think of ATC like that, that they were a friend that had your back … that changed my perspective of ATC completely.”

Sanders said controlling carries the same mentality; while precise phraseology is required, the path to effective communication can sometimes include verbal stumbles. That’s just human nature, she said. 

“I just hope that pilots all understand that we’re all in this together,” she said.
Click here to listen to the full episode on The NATCA Podcast. 

In case you missed the first two parts of the interview:

Other ways to listen to The NATCA Podcast:
National Professionalism Award:
Demonstrate, Motivate, Inspire
It's time to nominate your peers for the 2021 NATCA National Professionalism Award!

We need your help to recognize the exceptional individuals you work with day in and day out who demonstrate, motivate, and inspire others at work. 

You know who we are talking about -- the individuals who set high standards for themselves and also help elevate others around them. The person who when faced with conflicts or challenges, realizes that they have a choice regarding the manner in which they respond. The person who you know you can depend on for help when you need it. The person who exemplifies professionalism. 

We would love to have the opportunity to recognize these members in a positive way by celebrating them at Communicating For Safety (Sept. 27-29, Bally’s Las Vegas).

Help us learn about these very special and important individuals by creating a thoughtful write-up using our nomination form. We look forward to hearing your stories about these dedicated and committed members.

The deadline for nominations is June 30. Click here to learn more about NATCA's National Professionalism Award and click here to view past winners of the award.
Capt. Tammie Jo Shults Confirmed to Speak at CFS 2021; Registration Opens June 2
NATCA is honored to announce that Capt. Tammie Jo Shults has been confirmed to speak at Communicating For Safety (CFS) 2021, which will be held Sept. 27-29 at Bally’s Las Vegas.

Capt. Shults is a retired Southwest Airlines captain, author, and former naval aviator who received wide acclaim when, on April 17, 2018, she and her crew successfully landed a Boeing 737 after catastrophic engine failure and rapid decompression, saving the lives of 148 people.

Shults has spent her entire life loving the skies. Though the odds were against her, she became one of the first female F/A-18 Hornet pilots in the United States Navy. At the conclusion of her Navy career in 1994, Shults went to work for Southwest Airlines.

Shults's book, Nerves of Steel, is the captivating true story of her remarkable life - from growing up the daughter of a humble rancher, to breaking through gender barriers in the Navy, to safely landing the severely crippled Southwest Airlines Flight 1380. Her incredible talent and notable history have made her an inspiration to many.

Registration for CFS 2021 will open on June 2. The link to register, along with all other information about the event, can be found on our CFS 2021 webpage.
NCF Wants to Celebrate You
as the Elena Nash Community
Volunteer of the Year Award Recipient
Do you know a NATCA member or a family member who went above and beyond in their community last year? Somebody who volunteered in a noteworthy way in 2020 and is always willing to take on any challenge?

The NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF) wants to celebrate community volunteers from our Union and recognize them with the Elena Nash Community Volunteer of the Year Award.

Nomination forms must be received by Saturday, July 31, at 6 p.m. EDT. The winner will be voted on and selected by the NCF Executive Board and announced at Community For Safety in Las Vegas, Sept. 27-29. Click here to fill out the nomination form and submit it along with 2-4 pictures of your volunteer in action.
NATCA Members Work at
Sun ’n Fun with Record Attendance
The Sun ’n Fun Aerospace Expo is Florida’s largest annual convention of any kind, and the second largest air show in the world. More than 225,000 aviation enthusiasts attended the events last month including technology exhibits, forums, workshops, career fairs, and aerial displays by some of the best airshow performers in the business.

This year's Sun ’n Fun fly-in faced many different challenges. In addition to all of the normal work leading up to the event, both NATCA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had to develop COVID mitigations that would work with the uniqueness of the working conditions. "Because the event was cancelled last year, there was a two-year lapse in experience along with the event having a new air traffic manager and FacRep," said Daytona Beach ATCT (DAB) FacRep Mike Driscoll. "We had many unknowns all the way up to the week before the event, and everyone did a great job being flexible."

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Sun ’n Fun drew record attendance and the traffic count surpassed 2018 and 2019. All the aviation safety professionals jumped right back into the swing of things, and you would never know a year was missed. "We had to learn how to handle Amazon's busy flight schedule (a new airport tenant since the last Sun ’n Fun) alongside our busy arrivals and departures, as well as the airshow itself," said Driscoll. "The parties worked together to ensure that these flights could hit a five minute arrival window so as to have the minimal impact to the show operations." 

Even with the extra layer of COVID mitigations, Driscoll said it was a safe and busy event. "It has always been an honor to work the event and represent our profession, but this year, it was an even greater honor to represent my fellow members and NATCA at the event. I highly encourage everyone to work Sun ’n Fun at least once in your career!"
National Office Staff Employee
Spotlight: Cecilia Harley
We have an amazing National Office staff that our membership can be very proud of. They work hard every day and are committed to providing our members with the very best service and representation in organized labor. Today, we feature Senior Accounting Associate Cecilia Harley, who this summer will reach 20 years of service to NATCA. Thank you for all you do C.C.! 
Where are you from, or what places have you lived? 
Harley: I’m from Washington, D.C., but I’ve also lived in Kansas, Missouri, and Dallas.

Where did you go to school, or what other education do you have? 
Harley: I graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in the District of Columbia, and I also completed trade school. 

How did you come to work at NATCA?  
Harley: I was searching for a better job opportunity, and found a position vacancy online in 2001.

Do you have family members who are involved in unions?  
Harley: My husband works for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and is in a union. Also, my brother, who has since retired, worked and belonged to a union. 

What's the most rewarding part of being a member of NATCA’s staff? What's the most challenging? 
Harley: The best part is being part of a staff that makes you feel like family.

Do you have any hobbies or any other activities you enjoy outside of your work for NATCA? 
Harley: I enjoy hanging out with my family/friends, walking, and going on trips.

Has there been a favorite moment for you while at NATCA?  
Harley: My favorite moment was being able to attend CFS in Las Vegas where I was able to meet some of our members.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and mental health is something everyone should care about.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the mental health of people of all ages. Now, more than ever, it is critical to reduce the stigma around mental health struggles. That stigma often prevents individuals from seeking help.

The 2021 theme for this month is "Tools 2 Thrive." The NATCA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Committee is the workgroup that interfaces with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on all issues related to the EAP/WorkLife program under Article 57. The EAP Committee works to provide practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase their resiliency regardless of their personal situation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email
NATCA Virtual Academy Courses Available
NATCA Academy classes for virtual learning are currently scheduled through May. We hope that you will take this opportunity to learn more about your Union, your rights, and how you can become more active in the areas that interest you.

Visit the NATCA Membership Portal to sign up for any of the NATCA Academy Virtual Learning courses. Once you have logged in, select “List of Events” from the Events menu tab, then select “NATCA Academy Virtual Learning.” If you have any questions, please contact Chrissy Padgett.
NATCA Academy Virtual Learning Series:
OSHA Construction Meetings
The NATCA Academy continues this spring with a lineup of courses. This week, we will focus on the new OSHA Construction Meetings webinar. 

What is this course about? 
OSHA Vice-Chair Mark Sellek (Jacksonville Center, ZJX): This is a brand-new course covering construction process and meetings, construction planning processes, and collaboration during facility construction projects. Our buildings will need construction and renovation from time to time. Construction can affect the health and safety of our buildings. 

Who would benefit from taking this course? 
Sellek: OSHA Reps, FacReps, members interested in what’s going on at their facility, and members wanting to better understand what’s happening during improvement projects would all benefit from taking the course. 

Why is this course important? 
Sellek: This course is important because it helps members better understand what other lines of businesses (LOB’s) are doing and how to interact with them more effectively, and the course broadens the knowledge base on construction processes to help members collaborate more effectively with other groups NATCA represents.

Don’t miss this virtual course, happening May 11 at 1 p.m. EDT. Click here to register.
Attend the Next NATCA 101 Course
NATCA 101 provides a foundation of information about the Union for all levels of membership. Members will learn the history of the organization, the work the Union does for its members every day, and will be provided with insight for how members can become more involved.

Education is the first step toward a stronger Local, which leads to a more powerful national Union. A strong Union creates a better future for our members and their families.

Click here to register.
NATCA Store Item of the Month:
Hooded Pullover
Features of this product: The NATCA hooded pullover is the perfect finishing touch to a cool-weather look or a comfy outer layer. It is 100% polyester and provides warmth without the weight. Featuring the stylish kangaroo pocket, taping waistband, and solid interior lining. Available in sizes S-4XL and union-made in the United States.

Price: $53-$57.
To see the item and how to orderClick 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
IT Tech Tip: The Power of the "/" in Teams
For many NATCA members, using Microsoft Teams has become an important tool for our Union activities. If you are using Microsoft Teams, here are some tips to make yourself more efficient. In the top search bar, you can enter “/” (without the quotes) to quickly change your status, call someone, go directly to a team, etc.

For a full list of commands available with the “/”, simply just add the “/” and a list will populate with the available options. The screen grab below shows what that list looks like.

If you have questions about these issues or any other IT matter, contact the ITC members at
Union Members Feature:
International Association of Fire Fighters
NATCA continues to highlight our union sisters and brothers who are also essential workers during the COVID-19 national emergency. Today we highlight and thank our union siblings of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).

IAFF represents more than 324,000 full-time professional firefighters and paramedics in more than 3,500 affiliates, and is the driving force behind nearly every advance related to fire and emergency services in the 21st century.

Learn more about how IAFF is helping protect its members as they continue to perform their critical work during the global pandemic. 
Children of Air Traffic Control Specialists:
Last Chance to Apply for an ATCA Scholarship
The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) offers one of its scholarships, the Buckingham Memorial Scholarship, to U.S. citizen children of air traffic control specialists. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in an accredited college or university program leading to a bachelor’s degree or higher, and planning to continue enrollment the following year. Applications are due May 15.

Click here for more information and to apply.
Biennial Convention at a Glance:
Join Us in Houston in August
We are now less than four months away from the start of NATCA’s 18th Biennial Convention in Houston. Here’s an update:

DATES: Tuesday, Aug. 10, through Thursday, Aug. 12, with an opening event on the evening of Monday, Aug. 9.

REGISTRATION: If you are already registered, there is no need to register again. All current registrations are still valid and have been carried over. If you need to cancel your registration because you cannot make the new dates, please log in to your existing convention registration to make the cancellation. If you previously canceled your registration or are now interested in going to the Convention, you can register now. Register or modify existing registrations here.

SITE: NATCA’s 18th Biennial Convention will be held at the Marriott Marquis, in Houston. Make your reservation here. All previous hotel reservations for the earlier dates have been cancelled.

AMENDMENTS AND RESOLUTIONS: The time period to submit proposed amendments to the NATCA Constitution and/or resolutions for consideration at the Convention has closed. The Constitution Committee is creating a booklet that will be mailed out to all members in advance of the Convention.

SAVE THE DATE: NATCA’s 19th Biennial Convention is now scheduled for June 20-22, 2023, It is planned to be held at The Diplomat, in Hollywood, Fla.
Operation Traffic Counts Across the U.S.