Robert Utley, Technical Representative Liaison
Friday, August 23, 2013

Robert Utley just joined the NATCA National Office staff in June, but his involvement with representing air traffic controllers has spanned most of his career.

After graduating from high school, Utley joined the United States Air Force, leaving his childhood home in East Peoria, Ill.  He spent 10 years on active duty and continued with the Air National Guard for another five years before retiring from the military.  Utley was then hired by the FAA as an air traffic controller.

As an air traffic controller, Utley worked at Potomac TRACON and Dulles tower.  When it came time for him to retire, he knew working at the National Office was the right choice for him.

“If I retired I knew I wouldn’t work for a federal contractor,” said Utley.

A new position was created for NATCA’s Safety and Technology department and Safety and Technology Director Dale Wright knew Utley would be the ideal person to fill the vacancy.

Utley is a Technical Representative Liaison and primarily works with NATCA’s Article 48 technical representatives and subject matter experts.  He works to improve communications between the technical representatives and subject matter experts themselves, as well as between them and the FAA.  Utley emphasized that he would like to improve efficiency and communication so “everybody knows what everybody’s doing.”

He said he helps to connect the dots between all the constituents and calls his job a work in progress.

“I’m really looking forward to being able to help out the new tech reps and the ones that are already here,” Utley said.

Utley credited Wright and his fellow coworkers as his favorite aspect of working at NATCA.

“As clichéd as it sounds, Dale Wright is a great mentor and a great boss,” said Utley.

When Utley isn’t at work, he enjoys fishing on the Shenandoah River with his wife.  He also keeps busy with renovations to his house and is thinking about starting up golf again.

Family is also very important to Utley.  His parents live in Florida and all of his children are grown and out of the house now.  His daughter is getting married in October, and he also likes spending time with his grandchildren when he can.