This Week’s News and Notes
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Newark Members Put in Quite a Shift Tuesday
They’ll be talking about Tuesday’s day shift for quite a while at Newark Tower (EWR), after controllers were forced to evacuate due to smoke in the control tower elevator shaft.
The issue turned out to be minor in nature and all members evacuated safely. But like the professionals they are, members went quickly back to work from the ramp tower at Terminal C to get the famously busy airport back up and running following a ground stop.
There was an array of challenges to contend with, said EWR Facility Representative Ray Adams.
“It’s not an optimal environment to operate from,” he said. “It’s designed to manage the gates at Terminal C. This viewpoint allows limited visibility of the runways and mostly obscured the south side of the airport's taxiway structure.”
Additionally, he said, there is no radar, communication lines are sparse and there are only a few frequency backup transceivers that controllers can use. Throw in no strip printing or automation and members ended up with a unique experience in safely handling the traffic.
“The limited equipment and vision required the team members to work very closely and back each other up,” Adams said. “Everyone needs to contribute and engage 100 percent. There is no slack or room for error as there are no anti-collision systems or radars for quick reference of traffic.”
Adams, who was part of the team and helped re-establish the EWR tower operation once the smoke condition cleared, had great praise for the controllers involved.
“They did a fantastic job operating the airport safely in that very restrictive environment,” he said.
New FDT Update Newsletter Highlights Success of Program
The ATO has published its latest Flight Deck Training Program update newsletter, which you can read HERE.
Included is a story about the ATO making the FDT a permanent part of its Technical Training program.
Writes the ATO: “Without the help of NATCA and the FAA collaborating on the project it would not have been possible to make this a permanent program. … Without the work of the team led by Hamid Ghaffari (NATCA Western Pacific RVP) and Mark Marchese (FAA), working with a great number of stakeholders including the NTSB and Congress to get this program up and running, this unique opportunity would not be possible.”
European Pilots Raise Fatigue Concerns, Produce Compelling Video
As NATCA continues to work collaboratively with the FAA on fatigue mitigation efforts, our brothers and sisters from the pilot communities in both the U.S. and Europe are fighting their own fierce battles with their employers over fatigue.
In May, over 300 pilots and cabin crew members from across Europe demonstrated in front of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), in Cologne, Germany. The European Cockpit Association (ECA), which represents 38,000 pilots from across Europe, produced a very compelling video about the issue and the demonstration. Click HERE to watch.
From California to New York, Plenty of Benefits/Retirement Seminars Scheduled
Here is an updated list of scheduled benefits/retirement seminars through the end of the year:
August 13 - Kansas City, Mo.
August 17 - Chicago/ Aurora, Ill.
September 7 - Dallas/Ft Worth, Texas
September 11 - Denver/Longmont, Colo.
September 13 - Albuquerque
September 15 - Palmdale, Calif.
September 24 - Anchorage
October 5 - Huntsville, Ala.
November 7 - Detroit/Romulus, Mich.
Nov. 16 - Cleveland
Nov. 30 - Indianapolis
Dec. 7 - Atlanta/Peachtree City, Ga.
Dec. 11 - Hauppauge/Ronkonkoma, N.Y.
We now have a new and improved process for retirement seminar registration.
To register for one of the above-referenced seminars, please do so by signing on to the NATCA Portal: http://portal.natca.org.
Please verify the personal information listed for you including email and cell phone number. If any information is incorrect or missing, please correct or add it under the "My Profile" tab.
To register for a seminar, click the "Events" tab. Then click "2012 Retirement Seminars-Membership Registration." Complete the requested information and hit "next." When you come to the screen listing the seminars, click on the box next to the one you wish to attend, hit "next," verify your requested seminar information and then click on the "done" key. You will receive a confirmation email that your registration was complete.
Spouses and significant others are also invited to attend. Please ensure that you add them to the registration when asked if you will be bringing a guest.
For your guide to “Understanding your NATCA Federal Benefits Package,” please visit this Web site: http://natca.sharmansite.com/. If you attempt to register for a seminar on this site, it will automatically lead you to the NATCA Portal Web site.
If you have any questions regarding these events, registration process – or would like to have a retirement seminar take place in your area – please contact Sallie Sullivan at NATCA’s National Office by either emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-220-9803.
Want to Opt Out of Receiving Printed Version of Newsletter at Home?
If you would like to opt out of receiving the printed version of NATCA’s quarterly publication, the Air Traffic Controller, there are two ways to do so:
1. Go to the NATCA Members Portal at https://portal.natca.org/, log in, and simply UNCHECK the box where it indicates, “receive newsletter.”
2. Call the National Office at 800-266-0895 or 202-628-5451 and ask to speak with a Support Staff Specialist, who can update your listing in the membership database.
Please Help Our Members in the VLTP
This week, we added I90 Member Bill Buvens (spinal surgery), A80 Member Jason Forrest (battling cancer) and ZHU Members Kristi Halseth and Kathryn Campbell to our online database of members in the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). To reach that page, please click HERE. We ask that you please consider making a leave donation to assist brothers and sisters in need.
If you are in the program and would like to be added to the database, please email Director of Communications Doug Church (email@example.com).
Discounts Available at Two Ohio Amusement Parks
For members in Ohio and the Great Lakes Region, or for anyone planning a vacation to those areas this summer, a NATCA member from Indianapolis Center, John Pierce, has worked to get discounts at two popular amusement parks.
— Cedar Point (Sandusky, Ohio): http://www.cedarpoint.com/natca
— Kings Island (Mason, Ohio): www.visitkingsisland.com; promo code: kinatca