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NATCA’s Steve Hansen Wins ATCA "Air Traffic Control Specialist of the Year Award" - (10/25/2010)

CONTACT:  Doug Church, 301-346-8245

WASHINGTON – NATCA today proudly congratulates its Safety Committee Chairman, veteran Albuquerque Center air traffic controller Steve Hansen, on winning the Air Traffic Control Association’s (ATCA) Air Traffic Control Specialist Of The Year award.            

The award, presented during a special awards luncheon Monday at the ATCA 55th Annual Conference and Exposition in National Harbor, Md., is presented to an individual civilian air traffic control specialist who has performed in an exemplary or extraordinary manner in support of ATC during the previous year. 

Hansen has served as NATCA Safety Committee chairman for the past two years. He has 20 years of ATC experience. Hansen began in the Air Force, based overseas for much of that time. He started his Federal Aviation Administration career at Fairbanks Tower and Approach Control before transferring to Albuquerque Center in 2005. 

“Steve is a tremendously deserving recipient of this prestigious award. All of his brothers and sisters in NATCA stand and applaud his achievements, which have helped us show our commitment to aviation safety through collaboration and meaningful involvement at all levels,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “It is an extremely challenging job to chair our Safety Committee and be so well versed on so many technology and procedural and training issues to represent NATCA in such a competent fashion. But Steve makes it look easy with his breadth of knowledge and experience.” 

Added Rinaldi: “As we move forward with modernization and NextGen, he is one of our leading voices to help ensure that controllers are involved in the process and have new equipment and procedures that work and enhance the margin of safety in the system.” 

Among his accomplishments, Hansen has spearheaded NATCA’s efforts in making the Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP) a success in its first two years. ATSAP is a safety reporting system, similar to the ASAP program used by pilots and airlines. It encourages controllers to bring forth safety concerns and incidents with the goal of achieving solutions to those events that will enhance safety. 

“Not only has Steve served as our top official on the ATSAP program but he has taken it upon himself to educate and encourage our members to get on board with the program and support it as something that benefits the overall safety of the flying public,” Rinaldi said. “We have seen a steady shift of the FAA away from the failed punitive blame culture of the last administration to one of a just safety culture that values and encourages collaboration. Steve is a big part of that.” 

Hansen has also helped lead NATCA’s collaborative efforts with the FAA on the Partnership for Safety program, which is another safety reporting avenue controllers can use to bring safety concerns forward for review and action.


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