NATCA News and Notes
Thursday, August 30, 2012
NATCA Members in North Texas Deal With RDVS Outage
NATCA members at Dallas/Fort Worth TRACON (D10) on Monday had their hands full after the voice switching system – called Rapid Deployment Voice Switch (RDVS) – failed. But quick, professional action and diligence from members at all facilities throughout the DFW Metroplex during the event ensured safety.
Dallas/Fort Worth Tower (DFW) reported 76 departure delays, while Dallas Love Field (DAL) reported eight. There were an unknown number of arrival delays. Some satellite airports held aircraft on the ramp and didn’t taxi them out. There were no apparent losses of separation.
“I am very proud to be a part of this group,” D10 Facility Representative Travis Young said. “The controllers at D10 remained calm and professional throughout this ordeal. There was no screaming and yelling. They just went about the business of separating aircraft.”
Here is some information from Young’s report to his membership on the event:
The first indications of a problem were the failure of three frequencies simultaneously. Controllers stopped departures at both Dallas towers. Other frequencies continued to operate normally for a few minutes. Then all of the RDVS equipment, frequencies, and land lines ultimately failed and controllers moved to the emergency jacks. All flights into and out of the DFW terminal airspace were then stopped.
With all controllers plugged into emergency jacks and with no landline capability, one arrival from each corner post and one departure from each of the DFW towers were allowed into the airspace. A traffic management coordinator was assigned the responsibility to run between positions and coordinate necessary information with adjacent facilities via the commercial telephone.
Tech Ops advised that they could reset the RDVS but it would take 20 minutes. The decision was made to go to ATC Zero until the reset occurred. When it appeared the reset was working, TMU took the facility out of ATC Zero and returned it to an ATC Alert status. DFW departures were resumed with 15 miles in trail while controllers communicated from the emergency jacks.
A short time later, the system appeared to have reset and arrivals were resumed, with 20 miles in trail. Arrivals and departures were resumed with normal spacing.
According to Young, the situation “eerily” mirrors the fall of 2007 when the DFW RDVS failed, resulting in 440 delays. Just like then, he added, it is not known what caused the failure.
Upcoming Retirement Seminars
September 7 - Dallas/Fort 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: 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?
We hope you are enjoying your copy of the Summer 2012 issue of NATCA’s quarterly publication, the Air Traffic Controller. A special, newly formatted digital version will be released very soon.
If you would like to opt out of receiving the printed version of future issues of the quarterly publication, 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.