A Time to Celebrate and Honor Our Engineers
Thursday, February 21, 2013
By Mike MacDonald, Region X Vice President
This week we celebrate National Engineers Week, which calls attention to the contributions to society that engineers make. The government hires roughly five percent of the country’s engineers, and the FAA has its fair share, including Aerospace, Civil, Electrical, Electronic, and Mechanical engineers.
NATCA represents roughly 1,500 engineers in our Engineers and Architects (E&A), Aircraft Certification (AIR), Airports (ARP), and En Route and Terminal Automation units.
Our largest unit of NATCA-represented engineers is E&A. They design new facilities, construct or remodel air traffic control facilities, and replace aging National Airspace System (NAS) equipment. They evaluate systems and provide technical support to fix problems with NAS equipment. In addition, they analyze radar and communications coverage, correct deficiencies in existing systems, propose changes and upgrades, and present those changes to the agency to secure funding and support.
Engineers help determine whether facilities will be replaced or upgraded, develop plans for improvements and implement upgrades and construction, installation projects and much more. The AIR engineers approve the new designs and modifications of aircraft, engines, propellers, and related components and accessories. NATCA ARP engineers are responsible for the distribution of all airport improvement funds, coordination of airport design, oversight of land purchases and annual safety inspections.
The National Society of Professional Engineers, in conjunction with President George Washington’s Birthday, started the celebration of National Engineers Week in 1951. President Washington is considered the nation's first engineer, notably for his survey work.