NATCA, PASS Join FAA Workforce Engagement Effort
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Workforce Engagement (WE) is an effort to involve employees in creating a safer, more enjoyable workplace. Unlike some previous FAA initiatives to improve the work environment, this one had NATCA and PASS involved from the earliest stages.
Another big difference is it uses Gallup's renowned research and methods instead of being agency-designed. This ATO-wide initiative will first conduct a baseline assessment in the form of a survey that is scheduled for December 1 and will be available electronically for two weeks. It might be extended a few days beyond that to try to get high participation. The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and will be given out to all ATO employees rather than just a random sampling. It will consist of actionable questions that are relevant to the workplace.
In order to increase awareness of Workforce Engagement and build high participation in the survey, there will be numerous "site visits" during October and November focused around large ATO populations. These WE briefing teams will all have a NATCA or PASS member on them.
NATCA lead Russ Miller will be training seven NATCAvists as briefers. The briefers are made up of the members used earlier in this year for the design meetings. They are Jerry Johnston (PHX), Steve Abraham (JFK), Dub Pearman (ZTL), Elena Nash (SRQ), Matt Bonidie (ERI), Trisha Pesiri (SBA), and Lisa Cyr (ZAB). Other members of the design teams will help with briefings near their Local.
During the busier briefing weeks we expect to have four of the eight in the field at a time. The briefings will be about 75 minutes, including a question period, and be repeated throughout the day at each stop.
In other NATCA-FAA collaboration news this week, we issued a press release on Thursday, Oct. 14 about a topic that was covered in last week’s NATCA Insider: resolving an important safety issue at ZOA. The issue at hand was a vertical expansion of a Military Operation Area (MOA) used by the Navy and located on a high traffic boundary between ZOA and ZLA in the central valley of California and offers many challenges to both the controllers working it and the pilots flying it.
Rather than utilizing a contractor, as was typically done in the past, the FAA chose a different approach and called upon the countless years of experience in its air traffic control and technical workforce at ZOA. Controllers and Technicians at ZOA developed simulation problems while using the En Route Air Traffic Modernization (ERAM) platform with problem sets derived from actual traffic days between the two air traffic control facilities.
By using data from ZLA in addition to ZOA, those involved were able to run scenarios that showed the impact of the current procedure on not just the two facilities but also the domino effect the current traffic flow patterns have on the entire National Airspace System. This method also allowed them to see how a particular change to the SUA would affect the system as well.
Said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi: “Both the FAA and NATCA have made leaps and bounds in the past year in the way in which we work together to bring about positive change in the National Airspace System. The work done at Oakland Center is a perfect example of how, by working together, both parties can make groundbreaking technological changes simply by collaborating. The success of this effort shows that when work is approached collaboratively the end result will always be of the utmost quality.”