Insider Features:
Every Day is a Training Day
“Every day has got to be a training day,” says risk management expert and 2018 NATCA Sentinel of Safety Award winner Gordon Graham in a new 52-second video promoting both the theme for Communicating For Safety (CFS) 2019 (Sept. 16-18, Bally’s Las Vegas) and NATCA’s ongoing effort to change the way the workforce perceives training. Members of the NATCA Safety and Technology Leadership Council and the National Safety Committee have put a renewed focus on the importance of training and embracing it on a daily basis. Says Graham in the video, directing his words toward NATCA members, “A lot of people are dependent on you being excellent all the time.”

Remembering Carol Branaman
Carol Branaman, a dedicated air traffic controller, beloved sister, union activist, and friend, passed away June 5, after a long battle with a rare cancer. She was 67.
"She supplied a fresh, groundbreaking, and incredibly strong and dedicated voice to our Union at a time when we were growing and building our collective spirit and deep bonds of solidarity," NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. "Our Union is what it is today because of amazing leaders like Carol.”
Branaman gave her time, talent, energy, and leadership skills to NATCA to better the lives and careers of her fellow controllers and aviation safety professionals. In 2000, Branaman, a member at Denver Centennial ATCT (APA), was elected as Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President. She joined Executive Vice President Ruth Stilwell, also elected in 2000, as the first two women to serve on the NEB. Branaman served two three-year terms.
“I take some pride in that,” Branaman said shortly after the election. “I think it’s an evolution whose time has come. There’s something to be gained by someone with a different perspective.”

Branaman inspired other NATCA leaders who came after her, including Trish Gilbert, who has served as NATCA’s Executive Vice President since 2009.
"As a NATCA activist, I could not help but be in awe of Carol’s leadership, tenacity, thoughtfulness and profound insight into NATCA’s strategy and journey,” Gilbert said. “Due to her hard work and dedication, our beloved union is stronger, prouder and more diverse today!" Read more
Educating Our Youth
Washington National ATCT (DCA) FacRep Aubrey Farrar has been giving back to his local community for over 10 years. However in 2016, he started a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with an aviation career and education focus called Flight Club Foundation. Based in Washington, D.C., it was created to foster STEM interest through aviation with a focus on middle and high school-aged youth. “I wish I learned about aviation or air traffic control when I was 12 or 13, like these students are, instead of stumbling upon it in my 20s,” said Farrar.

Flight Club Foundation includes a mix of approximately 75 aviation safety professionals, all volunteering to reach the youth, giving them a different perspective by showing them possible career paths in aviation. Students have the opportunity to participate in quarterly “fly days” located at Freeway Airport in Mitchellville, Md., as well as learn about operating drones and safely flying them learning Part 107 regulations.
“It takes a team to get all of this coordinated, and without DCA Vice President and co-founder Terry Halsey, an integral part of this organization, the work could not get done,” said Farrar. “We will continue striving to fill these much needed aviation/aerospace career positions and increase diversity within the field, giving all children an equal opportunity and proper education.”

Flight Club Foundation has visited over 30 schools so far, and hopes to establish and sponsor programs at schools all over the D.C. metropolitan area. “Washington, D.C. is such a powerful city, and to have only a few schools with an aviation-related path is unacceptable. We hope to change that," he said.

Top right picture: Aubrey Farrar, Washington National ATCT (DCA)

Bottom left picture: Terry Halsey (DCA) and Chandra Smith, FAA Compliance Officer
Jonathan Eagle, an air traffic controller at Van Nuys ATCT (VNY), has been in the FAA for the past 10 years, and has also volunteered during that time as a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) AVSED (Aviation and Space Education) Outreach Representative. He believes it is extremely important to give back and talk to youth about amazing opportunities and fulfilling careers in aviation. “I am passionate about outreach because my journey into this career field was far from traditional,” says Eagle. “I had 16 different jobs prior to working for the FAA, and none of them were as rewarding.”

Eagle had a passion for aviation while growing up, but outside of being a pilot or flight attendant, he knew nothing about other aviation career paths. “It’s important that we reach out and educate both kids and their parents about careers in aviation.”
Eagle says that going to career fairs, talking with students, and telling them about your unique journey can be what shapes their future. “I truly believe that only through outreach, we can continue to grow a diverse workforce of the most talented men and women to achieve the FAA’s mission today and for the future.”

Top right picture: Jose Ramirez, Burbank ATCT (BUR), Jonathan Eagle, Van Nuys ATCT (VNY), and Larri Frelow, Asst to Regional Administrator and Western Pacific STEM lead

Bottom left picture: Eagle and Martin Ramirez, Los Angeles Center (ZLA)
FAA Air Traffic Control Specialist Job Bid
The FAA plans to open a no-experience public job vacancy announcement for air traffic control specialist trainees. The announcement will appear on and is scheduled to be open from June 14-17; however, that time could be modified based on the number of applications received. The official job vacancy will list the specific eligibility requirements when it is posted online.

Prospective candidates need to read through the entire job vacancy announcement to understand how to apply and the required documents. The announcement will include a requirement that a prospective candidate be no older than 31 on the date the application period closes. They must also meet other eligibility requirements included in the online announcement. Applicants should set up their USAJOBS account to provide email updates so that they will receive an email notification with any change in status of their application. Prospective candidates interested in the position need to carefully read the announcement and provide all the information required in the vacancy announcement. The position is highly competitive.
NATCA News and Notes
Two Regions, One Goal
The New England (NNE) and Southern (NSO) Regions recently came together to host a first of its kind joint regional FacRep meeting in Charlotte, N.C. NNE originally had a FacRep meeting scheduled for mid-January, but due to the government shutdown, it was cancelled. “Once we came out of the shutdown, we began looking for a time and place to reschedule,” said NNE Regional Vice President (RVP) Mick Devine. “Jim Marinitti (NSO RVP) invited us to their FacRep meeting since theirs was already scheduled and they had ample room to host.”

The two regions decided to focus on three areas for those in attendance: leadership, professionalism, and collaboration. Topics included member benefits, professionalism, building a better local, collaboration, labor relations, training, and safety, just to name a few. “Attending these meetings are an important way for reps to recharge and refocus,” said Marinitti. “It allows senior reps to interact with junior reps and build solidarity between locals and controllers from different types of facilities.”
With more than 100 members in attendance, they were able to talk and laugh with others from different facilities, and gain new connections that transcended regional borders. “This was a unique opportunity to show members that otherwise don’t get to many NATCA events, a chance to see NATCA at a level above just their facility—with a macro-view,” said Devine. “Having it in the Southern Region made it a little more difficult for NNE maximum participation, but the benefit of sharing and experiencing it with our brothers and sisters from the Southern Region far exceeded any detriment to having it there.”
Professional Standards Program -- Here for YOU!
The Professional Standards (PS) program helps to maintain, promote, and inspire professionalism of aviation safety professionals throughout the National Airspace System. The program provides the opportunity for bargaining unit employees to address performance and/or the conduct of their peers before such issues rise to a level requiring corrective action(s) by the Agency. Since its inception in 2010, more than 3,000 cases have been accepted and resolved. The program uses peer-to-peer mediation, conflict resolution, and mentoring to achieve these goals.
The PS program recognizes exceptional performance with a yearly National Professionalism Award. Nominations are currently being accepted for this award, to be presented at Communicating For Safety 2019, but only until June 17 .

We encourage you to nominate a deserving peer that consistently demonstrates professionalism in their daily work.

The NATCA Professional Standards team includes co-leads Josh Cooper (Southern California TRACON, SCT), Chris Keyes (Washington Center, ZDC), Garth Koleszar (Los Angeles Center, ZLA), and Lydia Baune (Spokane ATCT, GEG), and all can be reached at . The team trains approximately 100-125 committee members each year, and has approximately 550 committee members nationwide, serving each local facility across the country, with 26 Professional Standards District Chairs (PSDCs) that are a resource for FacReps and facilities. If your facility is without a local PS committee member, or you do not feel comfortable bringing your issue to your local PS committee member, please reach out to your PSDC. The PS program is here for you.
The Professional Standards Committee completed member training at Houston Center (ZHU) in May.
Back Row: David Mullinax (ZHU ATM), Evan Goad (SBN), Brian Shearer (ROC), Garth Koleszar (ZLA), Gary Nicholas (CLE), Cody Harbach (DPA), Dee Edmonds (CHA), Karl Brown (ICT)
Middle Row: Josh Cooper (SCT), Lydia Baune (GEG), Joey Ruffino (ZHU), Matt Mc Nelley (ZLA), Chris Smith (ZHU), Dustin Conner (LBB), Khris Flores (P50), Patrick Carter (D10), Joe Gettler (PRC), Elisa Carey (MRY), Chris Keyes (ZDC)
Front Row: Deedra Norwood (ZHU), Lindsay Carr (BFI), Dawn Suffern (AFW), Sean Lynch (PHL), Natalie Hart (I90), Preston Bartlett (I90)
Inaugural Meeting of the 2019-2020 RNAV Committee
The Retired NATCA Active Volunteers (RNAV) Committee met in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with NATCA in Washington as the first in-person meeting for the newly appointed 2019-2020 RNAV Committee. The meeting agenda included guest speakers NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, National Legislative Committee Chair Steve Weidner, and Benefits Committee Chair John Bratcher. 

“Hosting the meeting in conjunction with NATCA’s legislative conference provided the RNAV committee members the unique opportunity to not only conduct the business of the Committee, but also join our sisters and brothers as we deliver NATCA’s goals directly to our members of Congress,” said RNAV Executive Committee Chair Tom Thompson.

Click here to learn more about RNAV and to join. 
NATCA President Speaks at ALPA's Conference
NATCA President Paul Rinaldi was the keynote speaker at the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA) Pilot Assistance Forum, a biennial event which attracts an international audience of more than 200 pilots, flight attendants, health care professionals, regulators, and airline managers, all of whom are involved with improving the overall health of airline employees.

ALPA President Capt. Joe DePete discussed the government shutdown and commented on how much it bothered him that NATCA members went through that experience. He discussed the ways ALPA worked behind the scenes to try and help NATCA members during that time.

Rinaldi talked about the important programs NATCA members now have and greatly value, which were inspired by ALPA, including ATSAP and Professional Standards. He emphasized that members of NATCA and ALPA are family and need to support each other and work together closely. He thanked Capt. DePete for being the first to send pizza to Washington National ATCT (DCA) members during the shutdown, and emphasized how that gesture helped to lift the spirits of those safety professionals.
Houston Members Host NEB Meet and Greet
More than 100 members from local Houston facilities attended a solidarity event with the National Executive Board (NEB) at a local favorite, Rodeo Goat. Houston Center (ZHU) member Deedra Norwood organized the event and was thrilled with the turnout. "It's always nice to connect with members from other local facilities, and to see and hear from Paul (Rinaldi), Trish (Gilbert), and Andrew (LeBovidge)," she said. "It was also a first time for many, including myself, to meet some of the other regional vice presidents."
Twenty Years of History in the Making
Engineers and Architects Northwest Mountain (ENM) FacRep Don Schmeichel has an extensive collection of NATCA memorabilia. “I brought in NATCA items to showcase in our Regional Office display case,” he said. “The Regional Office gives employees an opportunity to showcase one's collections and interests, and I definitely filled up the display case!”

Schmeichel has a vast collection encompassing the last 21 years of his activity with NATCA. ”Having been a member of Region X since its inception in 1997, and on the National Safety Committee since 1999, I have had the opportunity to attend every NATCA convention since Seattle in 1998, and all but one CFS event since 2000.”

Schmeichel says his collection wasn’t intentional, but, “it was fun to go through and showcase to others what I have collected from different places and events. Seeing all the items together brought back special memories of the NATCA family I have worked with, and the events I have attended over the years.”
Meet the CISM Team
The CISM team recently held its annual training at Denver Center (ZDV).
Left to Right: CISM Coordinator Deb Stewart (CRP), CISM Instructor Tom Morin (Retired ZBW), Matt Ellington (ORD), Mike Napolitano (ZMP), Krystal Causey (ZMA), Carrie Uphus (STP), Holly Cron (ZHU), Team Lead Coordinator Chris Schenk (ZSE), CISM Coordinator Sarah Grampp (ZKC), Joel Weiler (LGB), Andrea Moore (CLT), CISM Coordinator Kristen Laubach (PHL), Tom Hedeen (DEN)
Not Pictured: Kristine Mooso (ZBW) and Maliesa Nichols (MYF)
The NATCA Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team is a Union-operated, Agency-supported group designed to help air traffic controllers effectively manage stress which may be experienced following a critical incident. Made up of 15 peer controllers and covered by Article 74 of the contract, the CISM team provides peer-to-peer support in the wake of incidents and accidents.

Our goal is to help you get back to normal and we are always available when you need us. To contact a CISM coordinator, call 202-505-2476, or email . For more information, visit .
CAE Gives Back to Local Food Bank
Members from Columbia ATCT (CAE) recently volunteered to help pack care boxes for the elderly at Harvest Hope Food Bank, in an effort to repay the kindness shown towards CAE members during the government shutdown. Members and some of their families spent four hours packing over 600 boxes of food. 

"It really was a great opportunity for us to give back not only to our community, but to those who really helped us out when we needed it most," said CAE FacRep Matt Trimble. 
Showing Some North Texas Solidarity
More than 100 members and their families gathered at Topgolf for a North Texas NATCA solidarity event. Members from Dallas Addison ATCT (ADS), Alliance ATCT (AFW), Dallas/Fort Worth TRACON (D10), Dallas/Love Field ATCT (DAL), Dallas/Fort Worth ATCT (DFW), Fort Worth Meacham ATCT (FTW), and Fort Worth Center (ZFW) were able to hear updates and information from NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, Southwest Regional Vice President Andrew LeBovidge, and National Legislative Committee Chair Steve Weidner.

"They provided great information on post-shutdown concerns and what legislative challenges we face moving forward," said DFW Legislative Rep Trevor Barry, one of the primary organizers for the event.
The function was organized by ZFW, DFW, D10, DAL, and supported by the NLC. "Even with the threat of tornadoes and inclement weather across the metroplex, we still had a great turnout," said another one of the organizers for the event, ZFW FacRep Nick Daniels. “Our NATCA family never stops impressing me with their passion and activism!”
ITF Hosts Air Traffic Services Meeting
Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, International Liaison Jeff Richards (far left), and NATCA NextGen Rep Adam Rhodes (Houston TRACON, I90) recently attended the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) Air Traffic Services committee meeting in Montreal. While there, they discussed mutual issues unions encounter in the delivery of air traffic services worldwide.
NATCA Academy: Secretary Treasurer Training
The Secretary Treasurer Training (STT) course improves the knowledge of NATCA, DOL, and IRS rules. The course provides understanding about the importance of strict record-keeping, consistency, and written documentation for financial guidelines.

The Southern Region recently hosted a STT training class in Charlotte, N.C. "Although this a course for FacReps, treasurers, and secretaries, any officer or member aspiring to be more active in their local would benefit from taking it," said instructor Ed Szczuka.

For more information on this course or other trainings offered by NATCA, visit the NATCA Academy page .
Corpus Christi Tower Hosts Solidarity Event
Corpus Christi ATCT (CRP) hosted a solidarity event attended by local membership, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, and Southwest Regional Vice President Andrew LeBovidge. There was a lot of great discussion and open dialogue between the members of the executive board and the local, with a lot of questions being asked about NCEPT and legislative activism. "It was a great event and a great opportunity for the membership to meet with and discuss their issues with our amazing leadership," said CRP FacRep Travis Schlumpberger. "The Corpus Christi local would like to thank Paul, Trish, and Andrew for taking time out of their busy schedules to come down and visit."
Unum: Sign Up Before it's Too Late
You've invested days, weeks, and even years to get you where you are in your professional career. You’ve insured your car, your home, and even your life to protect your family and all of its assets. But what about protecting the very thing that makes your lifestyle possible?

All it takes is one accident, one illness, one trip to the doctor, and your "golden medical ticket" can be taken away. “It won’t happen to me” is not a solid plan for your family’s financial well-being. As a NATCA member, you have access to one of the greatest benefits our Union has to offer--long-term disability insurance from Unum. You cannot get insurance like this anywhere else; this was specifically negotiated for the benefit of NATCA members.

Open enrollment ends July 31. Visit for more information.
Store Item of the Week: RNAV Playing Cards
Do you remember learning your first card game? Do you like to play Solitaire? Have fun building your sense of strategy in all card games with these playing cards. They are great for all players and as always, union-made in the United States.

Price: $7.95.
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: Theme Park Discounts
Summer is here. That means it’s time to start finalizing details for the family vacation. What do you have planned for fun with the kids?

Look no further ! Disney, Six Flags, and Worlds of Fun theme parks await the kid in all of us, with discounted prices that won’t break your vacation budget. 

When you’re done making your heart race on dry land, take the kids somewhere to cool off in the refreshing waters of a fun-filled waterpark. With your NATCA benefits, you also get discounts for all Great Wolf Lodge and Schlitterbahn parks across the nation.

Now's the time to have some serious fun, and all while saving money.

Click here and login  with your member account for your NATCA discount codes at these parks: 
FAA Employee Assistance Program: FAA Child Care Program
The Child Care Program at FAA is a valued WorkLife service that enhances the family and strengthens the workforce. One of the most important benefits we can provide our workforce with is quality child care. For our employees with young children, on or near-site child care is often a significant factor in meeting responsibilities both at work and at home. The FAA has developed an exemplary child care program consisting of 15 FAA child care centers across the country. Read more .