NATCA Briefs ANC on Safety, Collaboration
Thursday, June 20, 2013

On June 17, Safety Committee Chairman Steve Hansen and NextGen Representative Mel Davis delivered a presentation on behalf of NATCA to the Air Navigation Commission (ANC), which is a part of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Both Hansen and Davis addressed the crowd of 17 commission members, comprised primarily of controllers, pilots and engineers, detailing the different safety programs NATCA is involved with and the many bargaining units.

Hansen outlined the various safety programs that NATCA participates in, and emphasized the collaboration between NATCA and its stakeholders as a key to success.

Hansen shared with the ANC that there was a recent change in structure of the safety units in NATCA’s regional offices to include international safety. He stressed the need to “harmonize aviation internationally.”

“The safety committee was the first committee to have what we called a mentorship program,” Hansen explained. “In addition to that internal program, we have mentorship for our CTI [Collegiate Training Initiative] programs.”

The mentorship program serves as a way for those new to the Union to get involved with the various facets of safety.

NATCA is involved with many different safety programs including the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), the Confidential Information Share Program (CISP), Partnership for Safety and a risk-analysis program, among others. 

Hansen discussed how each of these safety programs has made a substantial impact on the constituents who use them, and how NATCA’s involvement instills an element of trust and reliability in the users. 

“We work internationally with international airlines on issues one at a time,” said Hansen in reference to the safety programs. “But we’re fixing [the issues]. And it’s a big deal. From the union perspective, we are very proud of all of our accomplishments.”

Hansen serves as the chairman of the NATCA National Safety Committee and is a veteran controller from Albuquerque Center (ZAB). He began his air traffic career in the Air Force, and continued with the FAA in Fairbanks before moving to Albuquerque. He has been involved in National Airspace redesign and regional labor relations. 

Davis highlighted NATCA’s tenth region, Region X, for the ANC. 

“When we get together, we’re a big melting pot,” said Davis. 

Region X consists of NATCA’s other represented bargaining units nationwide. They include engineers, architects, legal professionals, aerospace medicine and airports.

“There’s a relationship that says, ‘we are going to bridge the gap,’” explained Davis. 

Davis has 26 years of air traffic control experience and once served as the NATCA facility representative at Southern California TRACON (SCT). He is heavily involved with both National Airspace redesign as well as NAS modernization projects.

The ANC is a team of highly qualified aviation experts who are nominated and appointed to their positions. They recommend Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and Procedures for Air Navigation Services (PANS) to the ICAO Council for approval.