ATCA Annual Conference Wrap-Up

The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) hosted its annual conference and exposition this past week to discuss and showcase cutting-edge technology and modernization at the forefront of the aviation industry. Representatives from NATCA were heavily involved in speaking, presenting, and answering questions throughout the conference.

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi spoke on a panel to discuss the future and the advancement and integration of technologies in aviation. Rinaldi and panel members Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Acting Deputy Administrator Carl Burleson, CACI Vice President Division Manager Gene Hayman, Boeing NeXT Chief Technologist Peter Kunz, and Blue Origin Head of Government and Legislative Affairs Megan Mitchell discussed how now is the time to make changes in the National Airspace System (NAS) in order to shape the next phase of modernization for the future. They named some of the issues the FAA and industry are currently facing, including new entrants into the NAS, a fast-paced changing environment of technologies, and even the effect of aviation on communities, and discussed solutions to be on the forefront of the global airspace.

"You have to admire the controllers, the hurdles they overcome, and all that they do while maintaining the safety of our airspace," Rinaldi said proudly.

The same day, three more NATCA members spoke on panels about Weather Innovation, Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO), and Embracing the New Workforce Reality.

The NATCA team at the ATCA Annual Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 2, from left to right: Manager of Outreach and National Events Kelly Richardson, National Safety Committee Chair Steve Hansen, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Technical Representative Liaison Matt Sullivan, Deputy Director of Safety and Technology Mark McKelligan, and Indianapolis Center member Matt Gammon.
Houston TRACON (I90) member and Article 114 Rep for NextGen Adam Rhodes spoke on a panel about the changing workforce and how to adapt. The group discussed the changes needed to attract and retain millennials and future generations in the aviation industry. Rhodes said, "We are working to get more involved in STEM programs, and promote ways to encourage and inspire the next generation of aviation professionals."

NATCA's Safety Committee Chair Steve Hansen spoke on a panel of aviation industry leaders about weather innovation. This panel discussed how advances in meteorology have contributed to aviation safety as well as more efficient NAS operations, and how future advancements and emerging weather requirements will pave the road to even more improvements in efficiency.
NATCA National Program Management Organization (PMO) Rep Jeff Woods spoke on a panel about the plans, capabilities, and challenges facing initial Trajectory-Based Operations (iTBO). Woods stated, "NATCA has been in the room and we are focusing on the end unit. Let's talk about what we're trying to fix--what are our priorities? We as an industry need to talk about what to focus on, then we can all work together towards a common goal."

Day Two of the conference featured a panel moderated by NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert about the progress the FAA has made with small UAS. The panel discussed the progress the FAA has made in streamlining access to controlled airspace, as well as the process for waivers of Part 107.

(Left to right)  NATCA Executive Vice President and Moderator Trish Gilbert, Panel Members Tom McMahon, AUVSI; Parimal Kopardekar, NASA; Matt Satterley, AirMap; Sabrina Saunders-Hodge, FAA; and Randy Willis, FAA.

ATCA Awards Luncheon

Immediately following the conclusion of that panel, the ATCA Awards Luncheon took place. Numerous NATCA members were recognized for the work they do daily, keeping the National Airspace System (NAS) and the millions of people that fly daily safe.

The Andy Pitas Aircraft Save Award is presented to an individual or group who provided flight assistance in the previous year that resulted in the safe recovery of an aircraft in distress through the application of exceptional air traffic service.  Congratulations to our dedicated members honored: Daytona Beach ATCT (DAB) controllers Karen Hagstrom, Ruben Lopez, Tim Martin, and Chris Watton - accepted by NATCA Southern Regional Vice President Jim Marinitti; Honolulu Control Facility (HCF) controller Christopher Liu - accepted by NATCA Western Pacific Regional Vice President Joel Ortiz; Orlando TRACON (F11) controllers Charles Abernethy, Vijay Kanhai, and Dan McNeil; Southern California TRACON (SCT) controller Christina Munro.
The Annual Team Award for Outstanding Achievement was presented to a group which has added to the quality, safety, or efficiency of air traffic control.  Congratulations to the FAA and NATCA on receiving this award for their work on the New York TRACON (N90) No-Experience Direct Hire Initial Screen (NDIS).

Glen A. Gilbert Memoria l Award Dinner

That same evening, the Honorable Linda Hall Daschle was given the Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, in honor of her remarkable career in the aviation industry. The award, one of the most prominent in aviation and ATCA's highest honor, was presented to Paul Rinaldi in 2016. In her acceptance speech, Ms. Daschle was sure to thank the controllers. "Thank you to the air traffic controllers that continue to keep us safe across the country," she said.

NATCA Members and Staff with 2018 Glen A. Gilbert Award Winner, the Honorable Linda Hall Daschle.

Women in Aviation Breakfast

The day the conference concluded, ATCA hosted its second annual Women in Aviation breakfast to a sold-out crowd. The event was an opportunity for attendees to come together and discuss progress and strides being made to diversify the aviation industry. District of Columbia Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton was the guest speaker. During her remarks, she spoke to the need for more diversity and promoting the aviation industry to the younger generation. She also remarked that she was happy to see so many female controllers in the room. Gilbert led a roundtable discussion on the topic of Collaboration Across Sectors.

NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert speaking to a group of women about Collaboration Across Sectors.

NATCA continues to assist its members who suffered damage to their homes from Hurricane Florence. With a combination of resources and assistance from the NATCA disaster relief fund and the hard work of many member volunteers who have traveled to North Carolina and South Carolina, we have helped several members in need.
Two members from Wilmington ATCT (ILM) and one member from Myrtle Beach ATCT (MYR) suffered catastrophic flooding of their homes. Several other members from ILM, New Bern, N.C., Federal Contract Tower (EWN), and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (NKT) suffered some type of damage including light to moderate flooding, wind damage, and fallen trees.

NATCA activated its disaster relief fund to provide assistance to those who have needed it. We ask that you please consider a donation to help us grow the fund. Our ability to respond further to this disaster in the Carolinas, and future disasters, is reliant on a strong and growing disaster relief fund.

Ways to Donate

GoFundMe: Please click  here

PayPal: Please use  to send your donations.

Checks: P ayable to "DRF" or "Disaster Relief Fund". Please mail checks to:

Attn.: Accounting Department 
1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C., 20005

Automatic Payroll Deduction: NATCA members can also donate to the Disaster Relief Fund through payroll deduction, using this form.

CFS is happening Oct. 22-24, at  Bally's Las Vegas. A video live stream of most sessions from the event will be a vailable at beginning at noon PDT on Monday, Oct. 22. The 14 th annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards on Oct. 24 will also be live streamed on beginning at 8 p.m. PDT.

WEBSITE Please click here .
AGENDA :   Please click here. (Times subject to change.)

  • Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President (Monday, Oct. 22, 12:15 p.m.)
  • Dan Elwell, FAA Acting Administrator (Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8:35 a.m.) Read more
  • Gordon Graham (Tuesday, Oct. 23, 3:30 p.m.) Read more
  • Brian Shul (Wednesday, Oct. 24, 8:35 a.m.) Read more
  • Paul Dye (Wednesday, Oct. 24, 12:30 p.m.) Read more
  • Silent Auction - Throughout the conference at the NCF tables in the exhibition hall. Donations for items accepted through Oct. 12.
  • Live Auction - Monday, Oct. 22, 6:15-7 p.m.
  • Poker Tournament - Monday Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m.
HOTEL NOTES : For those a part of the NATCA room block and arriving Monday morning, Oct. 22, before the start of the conference, Bally's will waive early check-in fees.

A Lightning-Quick Reaction and Go-Around Instruction to 
F-16 Saves Multiple Lives: Scott Allen, Tucson ATCT (TUS)
Scott Allen
On Nov. 9, 2017, Tucson International Airport (TUS) was in the midst of a major construction project for a resurfacing project of Runway 11 Left. As a result, many taxiways were closed, Runway 11 Left was shortened, and the threshold was moved about 2,000 feet to the west. To accommodate all of the construction, TUS air traffic controllers had to use different methods and flows than usual, and were aware to expect the unexpected.
The taxiway closures forced controllers to use unusual taxi routes and required them to use the crossing runway much more than they normally would. At TUS, they are also proud to say that they work the largest unit of F-16s - over 75 total - at a FAA facility. Read more.
SFO Controller's 'Gut' Decision to Keep Close Eye on Aircraft Prevents Possible Ground Collision: Benjamin Kingston, San Francisco ATCT (SFO)
Ben Kingston
On Feb. 19, 2018, San Francisco ATCT (SFO) air traffic controller Benjamin Kingston was working Local Control during seemingly normal traffic conditions -- VFR (visual flight rules) mid morning, a really nice winter day -- when the abnormal occurred. 
Kingston was working a departure on Runway 28 Left, United Flight 875 to Tokyo, and an arrival to Runway 28 Right, United Flight 2051 from Tampa, Fla. Kingston asked UAL2051 its gate. They replied 87, which is located all the way around the back of the United terminal. Kingston gave the aircraft instructions to get them to a downfield taxiway so that the aircraft could be crossed after UAL875 and before the next arrival. Read more .


PTK ATCT members' makeshift working conditions outside due to  mold in their control tower.

Pontiac ATCT (PTK) currently has seven CPCs and five trainees. They are a level six VFR tower that is a Class D, operating underneath Detroit TRACON's (D21) airspace. PTK works primarily general aviation with a broad mixture of pilots. There are seven flight schools on the field and over 20 fixed-based operators (FBOs) so they deal with anything from student pilots in the pattern to business jets, traveling all over the country.  
Recently, PTK was struck with a dilemma. There was mold in the tower, which forced everyone outside until the mold renovation team was able to remove it.  Read more .

Thousands of students and their parents have been gathering at more than 80 Girls in Aviation Day (GIAD) events around the world between Sept. 8 and Nov. 17. Women in Aviation chapters and corporate partners are hosting the events for young women to learn about aviation and aerospace through hands-on activities, career panels, career and college expos, and educational sessions.

" We had a great day on September 22 with our local Dallas Girls in Aviation Day. We had terrible rain, flooding, closed streets, and still managed to have over 1,750 people in attendance! " said Women in Aviation International (WAI) North Texas Chapter Vice President and GIAD Coordinator, Molly Martin.

Local controllers manning the NATCA table at the Dallas GIAD, ready to tell
students about aviation.

WAI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing networking, mentoring, and scholarship opportunities for women and men who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries.
Many of the Girls in Aviation Day events are free and open to the public, but some require registration. Find an event near you  for the young aviators in your life!

Charleston, S.C., NEB Meet and Greet

NATCA's National Executive Board (NEB) met in Charleston, S.C., for their first meeting since taking office on Sept. 1. President Paul Rinaldi, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert and NEB members joined Charleston ATCT members for an evening of Palmetto hospitality, solidarity, and NATCA pride.

Indianapolis Solidarity

NATCA at Indianapolis Center (ZID) and Indianapolis ATCT (IND) hosted a solidarity event for Indiana NATCA members. Members joined from Fort Wayne ATCT (FWA), South Bend ATCT (SBN), Lafayette/Purdue University ATCT (LAF), and Terre Haute ATCT (HUF) for a total of more than 100 NATCA members and family in attendance at Union Jack's Pub in Speedway, Ind.  Senator Joe Donnelly attended the event with his wife, Jill, and spoke to the crowd about the importance of aviation safety professions.

LA Basin Solidarity

Western Pacific Region recently hosted a Standup for Solidarity comedy event for NATCA family members and leaders at the Sycamore Tavern in Los Angeles. The event featured four standup comedians and special guests NATCA President Emeritus John Carr and NWP Regional Vice President Joel Ortiz.

Honduras Controllers Visit Miami Center and Tower

NATCA members at Miami Center (ZMA) hosted groups of air traffic controllers from Honduras, Central America for a series of tours of the facility throughout the month of September. The visitors received an overview of ZMA operations followed by a tour of the control room and a tour of Miami ATCT (MIA). 
"All the groups thoroughly enjoyed the visit and said they learned a lot," NATCA National Safety Committee Pilot/Controller Liaison and ZMA member Daniela Aguerre said. "They even took back some ideas on possible changes at their facilities."
The visitors were so appreciative of Aguerre's efforts on the tours this year and last year that they presented her with a plaque as a show of appreciation for the generosity demonstrated in coordinating the familiarization visits.
NATCA BENEFITS:  American Hearing Benefits

For most of us, we only have our hearing checked during our annual physicals.  But when was the last the last time you had a truly comprehensive hearing consultation?  

NATCA has partnered with American Hearing Benefits to offer members and their family, FREE annual hearing consultations.  Along with the annual consultations American Hearing Benefits offers significant discounts on hearing aids, free one year supply of batteries, one year free office visits, financing and so much more!  If you or a family member has not had their hearing checked or are starting to question the quality of your hearing, Click here and give American Hearing Benefits a try.
Don't miss these opportunities for your exclusive discounts. For more information  contact the Benefits Committee, .

Hooded Fleece

Features of this product: Layer up without the bulk with the NATCA zippered hooded fleece jacket. This fleece is 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester with stylish pockets, taping and exterior finish with spandex ribbed cuffs and waistbands. Available sizes: S-4XL. Union made in USA. 

Price :  $45.00

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 .

2019 Pocket Calendars

If you would like to receive ONE free NATCA Pocket Calendar, please submit your request through the  NATCA Portal . Ensure your mailing address under "My Profile" is correct. Once you have verified the information, click the Event tab and submit under "Request for 2019 Pocket Calendar."  

Please make your request no later than Monday, Nov. 12 . The pocket calendars will be mailed to your residence by mid-December.
Vital Safety Conversations with Your Child

It may be difficult for a parent to begin a discussion with a child or teenager about a serious topic such as predators and safety. It can also be difficult for a child or teenager to communicate with an adult about sensitive topics that may be uncomfortable or even dangerous. The FAA WorkLife Solutions Program is available to help guide you when you are preparing to have those difficult, but vital conversations about your child's safety. Remember to be open and honest while also being sensitive to the age of the child with whom you will have the safety conversation. 
This guidance is meant to empower both you and your child. Read more for tips to share and to discuss with your child or teen about staying safe. 
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our photos on flickrView on InstagramView our profile on LinkedIn