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NATCA Celebrates 15th Anniversary of First Organizational Meeting - (11/10/2000)

WASHINGTON - The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents 15,000 controllers and has expanded its membership to include a total of 15 bargaining units, today celebrates the 15-year anniversary of its first organizational meeting of regional and facility representatives.

NATCA Executive Vice President Ruth E. Marlin said efforts of the past 15 years have resulted in positive changes in the way the Federal Aviation Administration has worked with NATCA on a myriad of issues.

“What started as a hostile, labor-management relationship in the aftermath of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization strike,” Marlin said, “has evolved into a relationship where air traffic controllers, engineers and other NATCA members have unprecedented involvement in the development of systems to ensure the U.S. air traffic control system remains the safest in the world.”

On Jan. 11, 1986, a group of approximately 20 air traffic controllers met near National Airport. With support from the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, work began toward representing controllers’ needs and concerns with an early emphasis on legislative issues, such as protecting jobs and increasing staffing levels. On June 19, 1987, NATCA was certified by the Federal Labor Relations Authority.

NATCA is a growing organization. Aggressive membership efforts resulted in the addition of 1,867 new members in 2000. The 15 bargaining units represent 18,749 employees who serve the FAA, Department of Defense and the private sector. In addition to air traffic controllers NATCA represents approximately 1,200 FAA engineers, over 600 traffic management coordinators and various agency operational support staff and regional personnel from several FAA divisions.

“We’ve added these new bargaining units because engineering, acquisition, logistics and the other groups play an integral part in maintaining the safety of our nation’s airspace system,” Marlin said. “We’re looking forward to the future with the goal of increasing NATCA member participation in continuing to improve the system for generations to come.”

Today’s anniversary is being recognized by the District of Columbia, which is home to NATCA’s national office. D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams has proclaimed today as National Air Traffic Controllers Association Day.

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