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ATCA 2012: NATCA President Paul Rinaldi - (10/4/2012)

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi spoke Wednesday, Oct. 3, during a panel discussion entitled Challenges at the Facility Level to Implement NextGen. The panel was moderated by Neil Planzer of The Boeing Company and included, among others, Walt Cochran, FAA ATO Vice President of Terminal.

Facility consolidation was the main topic of discussion among the panelists, and Rinaldi was quick to comment.

Rinaldi said, "It comes down to smart business decisions. Is it smarter? Nobody wants to hear we are making the system more expensive. We have to make it more efficient."

He said it has been shown that consolidation has increased staffing, but, "it really comes down to putting everything on the table and seeing if less facilities makes sense. If we need less facilities to implement NextGen, then we should be moving toward that goal."

Rinaldi continued, "It's only when we can start really looking at and identifying the business cases that we can then begin to consolidate these facilities."

When it was brought to the panelists' attention that NextGen is nearly 15 years old, Rinaldi responded, "In my vision we're three years into NextGen because it's only been over the last three years we've been actually using collaboration as a process."

He went on to say that programs such as En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) and DataComm have really begun to experience successes due to the growth in collaboration between NATCA and the agency over the past three years.

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