NATCA Team and Three Members Win ATCA Awards; Will be Honored at Annual Ceremony Monday - (9/29/2011)
CONTACT: Sarah Dunn, 202-220-9813
- A Denver Center air traffic controller, a Burlington, Vt., Tower air
traffic controller and an Atlanta Center air traffic controller share an
unusual experience: each saved a life while at work during the past year.
NATCA congratulates Denver Center air traffic controller
Charlie Rohrer and Burlington Air Traffic Control Tower Facility Representative
Charles LaBombard on winning the Air Traffic Control Association’s (ATCA) The
Andy Pitas Memorial Award and Atlanta Center air traffic controller Derek
Bittman on winning The ATCA Air Traffic Control Specialist of the Year Award-En
NATCA also congratulates former Phoenix TRACON President
Steve Hadley, Phoenix TRACON President Mark Wojtulski, Phoenix TRACON Support
Manager Curt Faulk and Phoenix TRACON controllers Bob Little, Chris Smith,
James Hansmann and Eric Hanson, of the PHX Optimal Profile Descent (OPD) Design
and Implementation Team on winning the David J. Hurley Memorial Award.
The awards will be presented during a luncheon on Monday,
Oct. 3 at the ATCA 56th Annual Conference & Exposition in
National Harbor, Md.
The Andy Pitas Memorial Award is presented to an individual or group who provided flight assistance
that resulted in the safe recovery of an emergency aircraft through the
application of exceptional air traffic service. The Air Traffic Control
Specialist of the Year Award is presented
to an individual civilian air traffic control specialist who performed in an
exemplary or extraordinary manner in support of air traffic control. The David
J. Hurley Memorial Award is presented to an individual working in the field of
Aviation Traffic Management for outstanding achievement or contribution in the
area of air traffic control collaborative decision making, balancing air
traffic demand and capacity, or maximizing airspace and airport use, which has
added to the quality, efficiency and/or safety of the Global Airspace Systems.
Rohrer saved the life of a pilot and his wife by instructing
the pilot’s wife to an emergency landing route after the pilot became
incapacitated from lack of oxygen during the plane’s ascent.
LaBombard applied older procedures he had not practiced in
years to help a distressed and disoriented pilot who was unable to make the runway
approach, was low on fuel and reversed course into the path of another aircraft
on final approach.
Bittman saved the life of a pilot by providing a safe path
to the Rome, Ga., runway despite the plane’s malfunctioning navigation
equipment, low ceilings and fog, low fuel, and two missed approaches.
The PHX OPD Design and Implementation Team created a project
to develop descent profiles on arrivals
into Sky Harbor that add quality, efficiency and safety to the airspace system
while significantly reducing expenses for airlines. The team
worked closely in conjunction with US
Airways, Southwest Airlines and Albuquerque Center to make the project a
Said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, “We are so proud of our
brothers who, in tremendously difficult and unforeseen situations, displayed
the outstanding skill and professionalism that defines NATCA.”
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents
over 20,000 highly skilled controllers, engineers and other
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/natca
Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/natcafamily
Show All News Headlines