NATCA News and Notes
Friday, August 03, 2012

Rep. LaTourette, a “True Legislative Champion for NATCA Members,” is Stepping Down

NATCA was surprised and disappointed to hear the news this week that Rep. Steve LaTourette, R-Ohio, is stepping down at the end of this term.

LaTourette is a nine-term House member from Ohio’s 14th District in the northeastern part of the state. He is also a longtime champion for NATCA and aviation safety. In 2007, NATCA presented him with the “Sentinel of Safety” award, honoring his outstanding achievement in the advancement of aviation safety.

“Congressman LaTourette has been a true legislative champion for NATCA members as he aggressively advocated on our behalf on issue after issue,” NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert said. “Many know that he stood with us every day fighting to restore a fair collective bargaining process at the FAA by changing Title 49. And this time last year, he took the lead in brokering a deal on an extension to the FAA reauthorization bill between the chambers and parties when it lapsed, which resulted in the partial shutdown of the FAA that furloughed many of our members.

“His enthusiasm and support for even the most difficult issues never slowed him down as again and again he championed on our behalf as he did when he led the effort to defeat last year’s amendment to the FAA Reauthorization bill that would have eliminated official time for FAA labor unions. Those are just a few of the many issues of importance to labor and aviation in his commendable voting record and advocacy. Working men and women across the country, and especially in our Union, will sorely miss Congressman LaTourette.”

Senate Committee Votes to Support Huerta as FAA Administrator

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Tuesday to support Michael Huerta as FAA Administrator. The nomination now moves to the full Senate for a confirmation vote.

Huerta became deputy administrator in June 2010 and has been acting administrator since December 2011.

Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said, "I think we can all agree that it's vitally important for us to maintain the highest level of safety in the aviation industry, and I hope we can move quickly to fill this post."

However, as the NATCA Government Affairs Department reported this week in its update to the membership, it is uncertain if a floor vote will occur due to political maneuvering. During an election year, the Senate may be unable to garner the votes to move on this kind of nomination because the sitting President might be unseated. Partisan senators might want the new president to have the ability to nominate his own candidate.

Nonetheless, NATCA remains strongly in favor of Huerta’s nomination. The Union was the first to urge his Senate confirmation when it was announced last March.

“We strongly support Mr. Huerta's selection and plan to work in any way we can to help him win confirmation,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “NATCA appreciates the many ways that he is collaborating with air traffic controllers and all aviation safety professionals to improve the safety of U.S. aviation. We congratulate Mr. Huerta for the nomination and look forward to working with him as FAA administrator.”

New NNE Representative on Legislative Committee

Tomorrow (Aug. 4), Jay Bowers (Boston Center) officially becomes the newest member of the National Legislative Committee, representing the New England Region. Bowers replaces Elisa Muise, who is now serving on the Constitution Committee.

Bowers can be reached at

Please Help Our Members in the VLTP

There are 14 brothers and sisters currently in our database of members on the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). To see the database and learn how to donate leave to assist them, please click HERE.

Please consider donating what you can to help them. If you know a member who is also in the VLTP and needs to be added to our database, please email Director of Communications Doug Church (

Upcoming Benefits/Retirement Seminars Scheduled

Here are the 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.

When you want to register for one of the above-referenced seminars, please do so by signing on to the NATCA Portal:

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: 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 or calling 202-220-9803.

Want to Opt Out of Receiving Printed Version of Quarterly Publication 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, 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.

Indy Labor Day Parade Plans Taking Shape

On Saturday, Sept. 1st, NATCA Locals ZID/IND along with members of NATCA's National Executive Board, will be participating in the 2012 Indianapolis Labor Day Parade. NATCA’s “floats” will include an airplane and helicopter provided by Vincennes University and,military operations permitting, an air traffic control tower provided by the Indiana Army National Guard.
Event T-shirts will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis to our members and their family and friends. This has traditionally been one of the most high profile and well-attended NATCA events as part of Labor Day celebrations around the country.
For those who would like to attend, festivities begin with a pre-parade program at the corner of Pennsylvania and North Streets at 9:30 a.m. The parade itself will begin at 11 a.m., moving south on Pennsylvania Street, turning west on Ohio, north on Meridian Street, and finishing east on North Street to complete the loop.
Immediately following the parade, a buffet lunch will be provided at the Colts Grille, located at 110 West Washington St.
Event page on Facebook located here.

Soccer Anyone?

You've heard about the International ATC Hockey Tournament, held every winter. Now there's a new and exciting sports tournament taking shape; it's the "World Controllers' Cup," an international ATC soccer tournament scheduled for Nov. 4-10 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

The first tournament was held last year in Las Vegas and controllers from more than 20 countries took part. Organizers sent us this link to a very entertaining snapshot of the event:

Please click HERE for more details.