A80 Member Wins Unexpected DOT Award
Friday, November 02, 2012
Every year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) recognizes employees for their outstanding work and dedication to continuing to make the DOT and its programs a success. This year, in the Secretary's 45th Annual Awards, an individual from the aviation field, one of NATCA's own, was awarded the Excellence Award.
Atlanta TRACON (A80) member Jim Allerdice said he found out about the award through an email from the FAA. He said he normally wouldn't pay much attention to it, as it usually doesn't pertain to members in the field. Little did he know his name was on that email.
"I was surprised when I found out that not only was I receiving an award, but also that it was to someone in the field," said Allerdice.
Allerdice said that thanks to his open-minded manager, the Atlanta area was able to get involved in Area Navigation (RNAV) procedures to advance NextGen. He gives a lot of credit to his manager, Brian Lentini, for "creating an atmosphere that allows his employees to be creative." Allerdice said many times managers shy away from the spotlight because there are a lot of risks and responsibilities, but, together, the two really wanted to take those risks to advance towards NextGen.
Allerdice said the single best procedure Atlanta was able to implement was Equivalent Lateral Spacing Operations (ELSO) using RNAV. Since the Atlanta airport has noise sensitive areas, the team had to figure out a way to abide by those rules while also adding departure capacities to the airport.
“Our goal was to safely add 8-13 airplanes per hour, and we surpassed that number," said Allerdice. "This procedure benefitted everyone — the tower, the TRACON, the airports, the airlines and the surrounding communities."
Allerdice is looking forward to receiving the Excellence Award on Nov. 15 from the DOT Secretary himself, Ray LaHood.
"I'm very honored,” notes Allerdice. “But if it weren't for the dedication and willingness to embrace change from our Atlanta controllers, there is no way I would be in line for this award."