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News Archive 2008

2008: Another Year of FAA Failure on Key Safety Issue
Wed, Dec 31, 2008

Burdened by an increasingly inexperienced workforce and a continuation of failed staffing and labor relations policies, the Federal Aviation Administration has admitted that not only did it fail in fiscal year 2008 to meet its own performance goals for one of its most critical safety issues – incidents involving planes getting too close – but the agency is off to a poor start to the new fiscal year as well.

Airlines Force FAA to Halt New N.Y. Holding Procedures; FAA May Still Be Foolish Enough to Try Again Today
Wed, Dec 31, 2008

After a one-day delay due to a controller shortage, the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday rammed through its ill-advised and inefficient new airspace procedures for a holding pattern above New York. But the plan lasted all of a few short hours before the FAA was forced to terminate it.

FAA Ignores Congress, Plans to Needlessly Threaten Orlando Air Safety Starting Sunday
Wed, Dec 31, 2008

Despite vocal opposition from a bipartisan Florida Congressional delegation to the Federal Aviation Administration's ill-conceived plan to separate radar and tower functions at Orlando International Airport, the FAA still plans to move forward this Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009.

FAA Can't Implement New N.Y. Holding Procedures; Not Enough Controllers!
Tue, Dec 30, 2008

Air travelers in the Northeast corridor have caught a slight break, albeit most likely temporary. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday was unable to implement its flawed and inefficient new airspace procedures for a holding pattern above New York because of another flawed, inefficient and chronic agency condition: It didn’t have enough air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility.

New N.Y./Philly Delays Expected Due to Ill-Conceived FAA Plan
Mon, Dec 29, 2008

So you thought the flight delays last week due to bad holiday weather were miserable? Try dealing with what will likely be a fresh set of delays starting today if you’re flying out of New York or Philadelphia. And this time, you can thank the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA Forces Controller to Work 13 Straight Hours
Mon, Dec 29, 2008

An air traffic controller at Griffiss International Airport was forced by his Federal Aviation Administration supervisor to work 13 straight hours, from 4 p.m. EST Saturday to 5 a.m. EST Sunday, in a gross violation of federal air regulations.

FAA Forcing Out Engineers to Hire ... Engineers?
Mon, Dec 22, 2008

Just a few weeks after having its reckless, beat-the-inauguration plan for moving hundreds of experienced engineers away from where they’re most needed exposed to public scrutiny, the Federal Aviation Administration appears to be preparing to add insult to this injury to the National Airspace System. This despite a new round of opposition led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

NATCA Statement on Transportation Secretary-Designee Ray LaHood
Fri, Dec 19, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – NATCA President Patrick Forrey released the following statement today following President-elect Barack Obama's announcement of U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., as his transportation secretary designee:

Bipartisan Congressional Coalition Opposes FAA Plan for Orlando
Wed, Dec 17, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. – Despite repeated safety warnings and fierce opposition from air traffic controllers and a bipartisan Congressional coalition, the Federal Aviation Administration is intent on moving forward in a mad dash before Inauguration Day to separate the tower and radar approach control jobs for Orlando air traffic controllers who are already stretched thin due to staffing shortages, seriously jeopardizing the safety of the flying public.

New York Airspace Czar Demands Misguided Change in Holding Pattern Control
Mon, Dec 15, 2008

NEW YORK, N.Y. – In a purely political decision that relegates flight safety and efficiency to a lesser priority, the New York airspace "czar," Marie Kennington-Gardiner, has demanded that the airspace currently used for holding patterns to accommodate delayed aircraft into New York’s Kennedy International Airport be forcibly transferred from New York Air Route Traffic Control Center to New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) by the end of this month.

FAA Misleads Public in Conveying Controller Involvement in Agency's Flawed Airspace Redesign Project
Wed, Dec 10, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an article posted on the FAA website on December 2, the agency gave several misleading statements regarding the controller workforce.  The article, “Controllers in the Loop to Help Reduce New York Congestions” led readers to believe that NATCA had collaborated with the FAA in improving traffic flow in the New York area and Philadelphia as part of an airspace simulation exercise and forum.

New Low for Safety Margin at Critically Short-Staffed Atlanta TRACON: 18 Safety Incidents in 61 Days
Wed, Dec 3, 2008

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – The airspace around the world’s busiest airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, is safe, thanks to the dedication and skill of an increasingly overburdened, fatigued and understaffed workforce of experienced air traffic controllers at the Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). However, the margin of safety is eroding every day and the proof is emerging in the form of a dangerous and alarming increase in safety incidents.

Controllers Support New Runways But Have Concerns
Thu, Nov 20, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just in time for Thanksgiving, President Bush and Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announce today the opening of three new delay-reducing runways at Dulles, O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma airports.  While the hype is heavy the overall effect that these runways will have is weak, with one entirely useless, another increasing the risk of runway incursions and only one being remotely beneficial to the airport operation.

Another Communications Outage at Washington Center Cripples Flight Operations To and From the New York Area
Thu, Nov 20, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Busy Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center has experienced yet another outage, only a month after a chaotic radio outage in October.  Responsible for safely directing high altitude air traffic in an airspace spanning over D.C., Delaware, and parts of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington Center has had its fair share of outages recently – this being the third in a short period of time. 

FAA Covering Up New Batch of Newark Incidents in Which Planes Flew the Wrong Way Due to Agency Failures on Airspace Redesign Project
Wed, Nov 19, 2008

NEWARK, N.J. – On Monday (Nov. 17), three more planes flew the wrong heading after departing Newark Liberty International Airport, including a plane operated by the Federal Aviation Administration. That brings the total number of departures that have flown the wrong way to more than 20 since the FAA implemented the first phase of its airspace redesign project last December.

Make NextGen New Again: Air Traffic Controllers Must Be Invited to Collaborate on a Fix for FAA's Faulty NextGen System
Mon, Nov 17, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Air traffic controllers are hopeful of having a greater voice and input in how the air traffic control system is modernized in the Obama Administration.  First on the list of improvements to make is to renovate a flawed key technological component of the FAA’s NextGen system – the ATOP system.

FAA Rushes to Try and Implement Service-Degrading Engineer Consolidation Plan, Ignoring Congressional Opposition
Mon, Nov 10, 2008

In its latest large-scale move to try and cut costs by reducing critical aviation safety services, the Federal Aviation Administration has begun to implement its “Engineering Services Efficiency Plan (ESEP)” which will move 362 FAA engineers away from where they’re most needed. The move marks the boldest thumbing of the FAA’s nose to widespread Congressional opposition to the plan to date.

NATCA Congratulates President-Elect Obama, Looks Forward to Working Together for a Safer, More Efficient Aviation System
Wed, Nov 5, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nation’s air traffic controllers and aviation safety professionals, represented by NATCA, are joining today in the exuberant celebration of the historic election of Barack Obama and extend their congratulations to him on this special day of restored hope for the United States of America.

FAA Violated Due Process in Punishing Controller Wrongly Disciplined After a Physical Altercation Initiated By His Supervisor
Thu, Oct 30, 2008

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City controller, wrongfully suspended after an FAA supervisor initiated a physical altercation with him on the job, was fully exonerated with the help of the Department of Labor, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) and an arbitrator.

FAA Communications Outage Leaves Washington Center Air Traffic Controllers in 10-Minute Chaotic Scramble To Keep Flights Safe
Thu, Oct 16, 2008

LEESBURG, Va. – There has been another Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control communications failure. This time, it was a radio outage on Monday at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center that left controllers in one busy sector unable to talk to pilots of aircraft flying above the Richmond, Va., area and scrambling in a chaotic situation to try and keep them safe. Many flights were delayed.

Efforts By NATCA and PASS To Press FAA To Install Defibrillators in Facilities Finally Pays Off, For the Benefit of 46,000 Employees
Wed, Oct 15, 2008

NATCA and PASS are very pleased that the FAA has finally decided to act to deploy these life-saving machines in its workplaces.

Flying Public Used as Guinea Pigs – Delays Caused and Fuel Wasted To Fulfill FAA Supervisor's Training Requirements
Tue, Oct 14, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Last Saturday at approximately 4:10 p.m. EDT an FAA Supervisor at Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center ordered several air traffic controllers to issue new routes to four flights for the purpose of generating more traffic for a trainee undergoing a skills check – when a supervisor observes a trainee to see if he or she is ready to be certified to work that sector without direct supervision by a certified air traffic controller.

Busy Washington Center Radar Controller Twice Asks for Help and Is Denied By Management; Result Is Two Planes Come Too Close
Thu, Oct 2, 2008

LEESBURG, Va. – An overloaded Washington Center air traffic controller struggling to handle a dozen planes in challenging conditions twice asked Federal Aviation Administration management officials at the facility last Sunday for help but was denied. After 10 minutes of fighting through the intense traffic rush by himself, the controller made a serious error and two regional jets got much closer than FAA rules allow in the latest episode of understaffing affecting safety at a major radar facility.

FAA Supervisor Takes Cell Phone Call While Conducting On-The-Job Training; Runway Incident Occurs
Wed, Oct 1, 2008

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Last Wednesday, in a brazenly callous move, the Federal Aviation Administration supervisor at the Flying Cloud Airport control tower turned his back on runway operations during an on-the-job training exercise to take a call on his cell phone and missed his trainee mistakenly clear an airport vehicle to cross the runway in front of a departing aircraft.

FAA HR Chief Objects To Her Flight's Go-Around at Boston, Orders Investigation That Shuts Down Crucial Runway Safety System
Mon, Sep 29, 2008

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration twice shut down the critical runway safety radar system at Boston Logan International Airport known as AMASS (Airport Movement Area Safety System) on orders from high-level FAA management to investigate a routine, safe go-around event involving an arriving AirTran flight that had on board Ventris Gibson, the FAA’s assistant administrator for human resources management.

NATCA To House Committee: FAA Is Failing To Make Our Runways Safer
Thu, Sep 25, 2008

NATCA President Patrick Forrey testified today in front of the House Aviation Subcommittee on the Federal Aviation Administration’s lack of progress and initiative to improve runway safety.

Near-Miss on the Runway at Allentown Exposes FAA Failures That Continue To Put Too Many Trainees in Towers
Mon, Sep 22, 2008

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A Mesa Airlines regional jet was forced to abort its takeoff and swerve on the runway to miss a Cessna on Friday evening at Lehigh Valley International Airport. There were two Federal Aviation Administration employees in the tower, both controller trainees.

Louisiana Control Tower at the Center of Refuge from Hurricane Ike Forced To Relinquish Airspace Due To Short Staffing
Fri, Sep 19, 2008

LAKE CHARLES, La. – Air traffic controllers at Lake Charles Tower are not only suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, but are also bearing the brunt of a severe staffing shortage.  Flight operations into Lake Charles have tripled due to the high amount of helicopter traffic in and out of the area – displaced from Southeast Texas and other areas impacted by Hurricane Ike.

Radar Outages at Two of the Country's Busiest Control Facilities Highlight More Issues With Faulty FAA Equipment
Wed, Sep 17, 2008

Since Sunday there have been two significant operational failures at two of the country’s busiest air traffic control facilities – Southern California TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) and Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center.

NATCA Testifying Against the FAA for the Hasty Certification of the Eclipse EA-500 at Today's House Aviation Subcommittee Hearing
Wed, Sep 17, 2008

Representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) are testifying today on the irresponsible and inappropriate actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration during certification of the Eclipse EA-500.

Flight Service Specialists in Alaska, at FAA Command Center, Vote to Be Represented By NATCA
Fri, Aug 22, 2008

WASHINGTON – NATCA has officially added a new group of Federal Aviation Administration employees to its list of bargaining units. Some 150 air traffic control specialists assigned to the flight service option at Automated Flight Service Stations, Flight Service Stations, and Flight Service Data Processing Systems sites located in Alaska and at the “Weather Unit” of the Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Herndon, Va., have voted to be represented by NATCA.

Bipartisan Senate Bill Calls on FAA To Restore Fairness in Its Contract Negotiations Process
Wed, Aug 6, 2008

WASHINGTON – Senators Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., recognizing the need to correct what Inhofe described as a “very unfair process imposed upon employees of the Federal Aviation Administration,” have introduced bipartisan legislation that would ensure good faith collective bargaining for FAA employees and provide for an impartial impasse resolution process.

Federal Judge Rules in Favor of NATCA Plaintiffs Suit Claiming FAA Violations of the Federal Overtime Pay Statute
Tue, Aug 5, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On July 31, a federal judge issued a 51-page decision finding that the FAA violated the provisions of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by maintaining comp time and credit hours programs instead of paying time-and-a-half overtime since the implementation of FAA personnel reform in 1996.

Atlanta Radar Facility Nearly Doubles Error Total as Staffing Experience Level Plummets
Tue, Jul 29, 2008

ATLANTA – With two months left in the fiscal year Atlanta TRACON, the radar facility for the busiest airport in the world, has close to doubled last fiscal year’s total number of incidents in which planes got closer than FAA rules allow.

Understaffing Cited as Contributory Factor To Operational Error in Report
Wed, Jul 23, 2008

KANSAS CITY – An operational error review board at the Kansas City International Airport Tower has cited, in its report to the facility’s FAA manager, the failure to adequately staff positions in the terminal radar approach control room (TRACON) as a factor in an operational error that occurred on May 23, 2008. An operational error occurs when two aircraft get closer than the FAA’s minimum separation standards allow.

FAA Issues Fuel Tank Flammability Rule, Ignoring More Stringent Safety Recommendation Made By NATCA
Wed, Jul 16, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FAA announced today the issue of a fuel tank flammability reduction rule based on the proposal it published in 2005. The FAA Aircraft Certification Engineers, represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) are pleased that the FAA retained the retro-fit requirement for passenger airplanes and that it modified the final rule to apply the same fuel tank flammability standards to all new transport category airplane designs.

Newark Controller Files for Whistleblower Protection; ALPA Supports Controllers' Work To Help Pilots With Airspace Changes
Thu, Jul 10, 2008

Veteran Newark Tower air traffic controller Ray Adams is striking back against harsh intimidation and retaliation tactics used by the Federal Aviation Administration to try and silence both his safety concerns and that of his co-workers regarding procedures for departures and flight paths hastily implemented earlier this year as part of airspace redesign efforts rushed into use without controller involvement

"Ugly" Near-Miss Incident at JFK Airport Saturday; Cayman Airways Jet Executing Missed Approach Crosses Paths With Departing 767
Mon, Jul 7, 2008

There was a very scary near mid-air collision at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday night (July 5). At approximately 8:30 p.m. EDT, LAN Chile Flight 533 (Boeing 767) was taking off from Runway 13-Right. At the same time, Cayman Airways Flight 792 (Boeing 737) was executing a missed approach on 22-Left, which runs perpendicular off the end of 13-Right.

NATCA Congratulates AOPA President Phil Boyer on His Retirement; Pledges Full Support To Incoming President Craig L. Fuller
Wed, Jul 2, 2008

NATCA President Patrick Forrey issued the following statement on the announcement Monday that Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Phil Boyer will retire at the end of this year, to be succeeded by Craig L. Fuller:

A Modern Bermuda Triangle: FAA Lacks a Contingency Plan for Radar Outage, Causing Delays and Fuel Waste
Thu, Jun 26, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Because of yet another ill-advised move by the FAA and a radar outage at Bermuda airport, controllers at New York Air Route Traffic Control Center are left to develop contingency plans to guide aircraft into and out of Bermuda’s airspace while aircraft traveling to and through the airspace face delays.

Staffing Crisis Worsens in New York, Alaska; FAA Now Offering Up to $100K Bonus to Experienced Controllers to Transfer
Wed, Jun 25, 2008

Admitting to a worsening staffing crisis that has hurt both the safety and efficiency of the air traffic control system, the Federal Aviation Administration is now literally begging experienced controllers to fill open positions at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) by offering up to $100,000 in relocation bonus money.

Reno Controller Incapacitated While on Duty; Was Forced to Work Radar Positions Alone Due to Extreme Understaffing
Tue, Jun 24, 2008

An air traffic controller forced to work alone due to extreme understaffing in the radar facility that handles airborne traffic around Reno-Tahoe International Airport suffered a heart attack late Monday afternoon while on duty. The controller today is in stable condition at a local hospital.

While FAA Pays Lip Service to Controller Fatigue Problem, NATCA Begins Work on Real Solutions
Mon, Jun 16, 2008

Air traffic controllers will participate in the FAA’s “Aviation Fatigue Management Symposium,” which begins tomorrow. But having seen enough of the agency’s continued refusal to comply with the National Transportation Safety Board’s April 2007 recommendations to work collaboratively with NATCA on controller fatigue issues, NATCA is announcing today its own plans to develop a “fatigue management system.”

Disingenuous FAA Circumventing Principles of ATSAP Agreement That Aims to Protect Whistleblowing Controllers Who Bring Safety Concerns Forward
Thu, Jun 12, 2008

On March 27, Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell joined NATCA President Patrick Forrey in signing an agreement to create an Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), designed to foster a voluntary, cooperative, non-punitive environment for the open reporting of safety of flight concerns by FAA controllers. But the FAA is severely jeopardizing this agreement because Sturgell has refused to overrule the FAA’s human resources officials who have drawn up plans for how the agency can still punish and even fire controllers who bring safety concerns forward.

NATCA Testifies on Staffing Crisis before House Aviation Subcommittee
Wed, Jun 11, 2008

Let me be clear: This country is facing an air traffic controller staffing crisis. The crisis is real. The crisis is serious. And the crisis is now.

America's Air Traffic Controllers Enthusiastically Support Sen. Barack Obama for President
Thu, Jun 5, 2008

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today is giving its endorsement for president to Senator Barack Obama, a champion of fair collective bargaining rights for controllers, a fierce advocate for aviation safety and holding the Federal Aviation Administration accountable, and a courageous, inspiring and devoted leader for working men and women nationwide.

Unsafe Operational Incidents on the Rise at Indianapolis Air Traffic Facilities Due to Forced Overtime and Fatigue
Wed, May 28, 2008

Only halfway through the year the number of incidents in which a plane unsafely enters another controller’s airspace has surpassed last year’s total at Indianapolis air route traffic control center.

Monroe Airspace Given to Fort Worth Air Traffic Facility Due to Critically Low Controller Staffing Levels
Thu, May 22, 2008

MONROE, La. – Controller staffing levels are so low at Monroe Tower that, due to a recent illness and family emergency, Monroe airspace had to be transferred to the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center for an additional three and a half hours than it normally would be relinquished (changing to 9:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. from the normal time span of 11 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.) The facility was also put on ATC Alert indefinitely by an FAA manager – indicating that Fort Worth Center could assume the Monroe airspace at any given time due to staffing.

Decreased Controller Staffing Will Impact Summer Travel; New NATCA Video Ad: “When You Lose Controllers, You Lose Control”
Tue, May 20, 2008

WASHINGTON – As the summer air travel season gets set to begin, air traffic controllers are again warning the public about a worsening staffing shortage and the effects of fatigue caused by fewer controllers working longer shifts.

Close Calls at Cincinnati Air Traffic Facility Call Into Question Controller Fatigue, Staffing and Equipment Failure
Thu, May 8, 2008

Three serious incidents in recent weeks have brought major staffing and equipment issues to light at the air traffic control tower for Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International.

Low Staffing, High OT Causes Spike in Unsafe Incidents in Skies Around World's Busiest Airport
Tue, May 6, 2008

The number of incidents when planes have gotten too close has already exceeded last fiscal year’s total at the major radar facility handling flights into and out of the world’s busiest airport – and the situation is getting worse.

FAA Now Firing Controller Trainees Without Cause in Union-Busting Intimidation Move
Mon, Apr 28, 2008

Not content to simply drive out nearly one-fifth of its total workforce in the 603 days since imposing draconian work and pay rules, the desperate and wounded Federal Aviation Administration has returned to its union-busting playbook and taken aim at its most vulnerable employees – new controller trainees who can be fired without sufficient cause and without appeal rights in the first year of their employment.

FAA Hypocrisy: While It Tightens Airline Inspections, Agency Stops Regular Maintenance of Ground-Based Equipment
Fri, Apr 25, 2008

With hundreds of thousands of air travelers having endured mass flight cancellations thus far in the Federal Aviation Administration’s rush to overreact to a crisis of safety oversight of its own making, the agency is contradicting itself by not applying the same rigid standards to an equally important part of the National Airspace System: The certification and maintenance of FAA-owned ground-based equipment such as radar and instrument landing systems.

NATCA Reaction to FAA Admitting Cover-Up of Operational Errors at Dallas-Fort Worth Tracon
Thu, Apr 24, 2008

The following is a statement by NATCA President Patrick Forrey, responding to today’s Federal Aviation Administration admission that a report by the Department of Transportation Inspector General revealing an intentional misclassification of operational errors at Dallas-Fort Worth Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) is accurate:

Detroit Radar Control Facility's Staffing at 16-Year Low With 14 More Eligible to Retire over Next 12 Months
Tue, Apr 22, 2008

There are only 38 Certified Professional Controllers (CPCs) on staff at Detroit Metro TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control), down from the 45 CPCs the facility had prior to the FAA’s implementation of imposed work rules in September 2006. Eight veteran controllers have retired since then, only one of those retirements being mandatory.

Half of the Veteran Controller Workforce at Tampa Tower is Now Eligible to Retire
Mon, Apr 21, 2008

Half of the air traffic controllers in the tower at Tampa International Airport are eligible to retire today.

FAA Ignores Public Safety Again: Exhausted Controllers Forced to Work
Thu, Apr 17, 2008

Do you think the air traffic controllers directing your flights this busy spring and summer will be well-rested? Many of them won't be.

Sabatini's Senate Testimony Claiming NATCA Involvement on New Procedure Is Misleading
Thu, Apr 17, 2008

Just two days after the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee accused him of providing “inaccurate and misleading testimony,” at an April 3 hearing, the FAA’s Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety, Nicholas A. Sabatini, told the Senate Aviation Subcommittee on April 10 that the FAA is “seeking input” from NATCA on revamping policies for tower controllers issuing taxi clearances to aircraft.

FAA Manager Not Qualified to Work Tower Supervisor Position at Manchester but Does Anyway to Save Money
Mon, Apr 14, 2008

A Federal Aviation Administration manager at Manchester Tower broke FAA regulations last Thursday evening by working as an air traffic control supervisor due to a lack of staffing on the shift despite not being certified to perform those duties.

Where FAA Sees Roses in New Telecommunications System, Controllers and Technicians Feel the Pain of Thorns
Wed, Apr 9, 2008

Despite a rosy picture painted Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) network is unreliable, lacking suitable backups, and continues to be a source of great frustration and deep concern for the FAA technicians and air traffic controllers who must deal with the fallout of the FAA’s decision to cut corners and costs on this project and run it on the razor’s edge despite a lengthy list of failures and outages.

Detroit Controller Wins NATCA President's Award for Best Flight in Archie League Medal of Safety Awards
Wed, Apr 2, 2008

Air traffic controller Patrick Eberhart of Detroit Metro TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) was presented with the NATCA President’s Award last night at the Archie League Medal of Safety Awards for his determination under duress and dedication to safety.

NATCA Honors Exceptional Controllers With Archie League Medal of Safety Awards for Exemplary Flight Assists
Tue, Apr 1, 2008

NATCA is honoring some of its finest members today for their exceptional contributions to air safety – demonstrating extraordinary capability in critical flight assists in 2007.

NATCA Celebrates G.I. Bill's New Qualification Rules – Veterans and Dependents in ATC Training Finally Qualify
Mon, Mar 31, 2008

Both veterans and their dependents training to be air traffic controllers are now eligible to qualify for educational support under the G.I. Bill’s new qualification rules.

FAA, NATCA Announce Agreement on Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP)
Thu, Mar 27, 2008

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association today signed an agreement to create an Air Traffic Safety Action Program (ATSAP), designed to foster a voluntary, cooperative, non-punitive environment for the open reporting of safety of flight concerns by employees of the FAA.

Watch Annual Safety Conference for Controllers, Pilots Live on NATCA Web Site Next Week
Thu, Mar 27, 2008

NATCA’s annual “Communicating for Safety” conference next week in Chicago, bringing together air traffic controllers with pilots and industry to discuss the many issues in which collaboration and communication is crucial to safe flight, will be broadcast live on NATCA’s web site

NATCA President Patrick Forrey Delivers Speech to Aero Club of Washington
Wed, Mar 26, 2008

It’s an honor and a privilege to stand at this podium, where the leaders of our aviation community have come to report on the view from their respective corners of the United States National Airspace System.

Three Radar Outages in One Weekend Seriously Call Into Question the Reliability of FAA Air Traffic Control Equipment
Mon, Mar 24, 2008

This weekend three separate radar outages at facilities in California, Florida and Georgia both severely limited controllers’ abilities to safely guide planes and caused delays at several airports in the three states – seriously calling into question the reliability of the equipment the FAA is putting in its air traffic control facilities.

Rushed Training at Understaffed FAA Chicago Facility Jeopardizes Safety
Wed, Mar 19, 2008

Rushing to desperately cover up a staffing shortage that has left the nation’s fourth-busiest radar facility with a 14-year low total of fully trained controllers on staff, Federal Aviation Administration managers at the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center are pushing new hires through an expedited training program that compresses three years of material into a five-month period.

Air Traffic Controller Shortage Snarls East Coast Traffic
Tue, Mar 18, 2008

Worsening air traffic controller shortage at one of the nation’s busiest radar control centers, Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center, forced the Federal Aviation Administration to delay flights headed to, from or above the nation’s capital region on several occasions Saturday (March 15).

Increasing Staffing Problems Plague Central Florida Air Traffic Control Facilities as Spring Break Season Begins
Wed, Mar 12, 2008

As the spring tourism season gets into high gear with Spring Break, air traffic controllers at Orlando International Tower are increasingly concerned about safety in the wake of a continuing depletion of their experienced controller ranks that could, by year’s end, leave them with nearly twice as many trainees on staff as fully certified controllers.

NATCA, PA. Congressman Sestak, NJ Congressman Andrews Denounce FAA Efforts to Silence Controllers in Debate over Philadelphia Airspace Changes
Mon, Feb 25, 2008

The nation’s air traffic controllers are joining today with controllers at Philadelphia International Airport, Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., and Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., in condemning Federal Aviation Administration efforts to silence controllers’ safety concerns about newly implemented airspace changes, particularly the comments of an FAA spokesman who said if Philadelphia controllers believe these procedures are unsafe, “they should look for work elsewhere.”

FAA Supervisor Prevents Oakland Center Controllers from Monitoring Emergency Distress Call from Aircraft Going Down
Fri, Feb 22, 2008

Air traffic controllers at Oakland Air RouteTraffic Control Center last Sunday were deliberately prevented from monitoring the distress calls from a small plane in trouble because a Federal Aviation Administration supervisor turned down the volume of the facility’s emergency frequency and loudspeaker to an inaudible level.

NATCA Honors Its Members during National Engineers Week
Wed, Feb 20, 2008

In observance of National Engineers Week (February 17-23) the National Air Traffic Controllers Association is recognizing the 1,670 members of its engineer bargaining units for their dedication to their profession, their occupational contributions and their relationship with NATCA.

FAA Admits to Spike in Operational Errors at Nation's Busiest Radar Approach Control
Fri, Feb 1, 2008

The Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic manager for the Southern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility issued a memo on Wednesday to all air traffic personnel immediately stopping all on-the-job training for one week in response to what she described as a “recent spike in Operational Errors/Operational Deviations,” which are incidents where controller mistakes result in aircraft coming closer to each other than FAA safety rules allow.

NATCA Honors Congressmen LoBiondo and DeFazio with “Sentinel of Safety” Award
Wed, Jan 30, 2008

NATCA honored Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., with its annual “Sentinel of Safety” award during each Congressman’s respective appearances Tuesday before more than 350 air traffic controllers gathered at NATCA’s annual legislative conference, “NATCA in Washington.”

More Than Half of New Hires at Major Miami Radar Center Have Received No Training at All
Mon, Jan 28, 2008

Six out of every 10 new hires at Miami Center, South Florida's largest Federal Aviation Administration facility, are not receiving adequate preparation for their future air traffic controller jobs because of a worsening controller staffing crisis that has left the FAA without enough fully certified controllers to train them.

Oakland Center and Northern California Radar Approach Controllers Declare a Staffing Emergency
Thu, Jan 24, 2008

Air traffic controllers at both the Northern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and the Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center, who have seen a large rate of attrition and a rise in unsafe incidents in the skies, today have declared a staffing emergency and are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation to act immediately to stem the loss of veteran controllers.

Major Radar Outage at Boston Radar Center Wednesday Evening Leaves Controllers Scrambling, Flights Delayed
Thu, Jan 24, 2008

A major computer software failure at the Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center Wednesday afternoon knocked out both the primary and the principal backup radar system – called DARC – used by controllers to monitor hundreds of flights over seven U.S. states and thousands of square miles of airspace over the Atlantic Ocean.

FAA Set to Fire Oakland Center Air Traffic Control Trainee Whose National Guard Duty Was Extended, Cites Understaffing
Tue, Jan 22, 2008

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to fire an employee who was training to become an air traffic controller at Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center. His crime? He obeyed military orders to extend his duty in the California National Guard, which made him unable to obey Federal Aviation Administration orders to return to Oakland Center due to what the FAA manager at the facility wrote was “facility staffing requirements.”

Dallas-Fort Worth Radar Approach Controllers Declare a Staffing Emergency
Wed, Jan 16, 2008

Air traffic controllers at the Dallas-Fort Worth Terminal Radar Approach Control (DFW TRACON), faced with a 34 percent drop in the number of fully trained and certified controllers on staff in just two years that has led to a dramatic rise in unsafe incidents, today have declared a staffing emergency and are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation to act immediately to stem the loss of veteran controllers.

Air Traffic Controllers Declare a Staffing Emergency in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Southern California
Thu, Jan 10, 2008

The nation’s air traffic controllers, faced with a 10 percent loss of their workforce in the last year, a record pace of new losses this year and worsening stress and fatigue levels that have drawn the critical eye of two major government watchdogs, are declaring a staffing emergency in four key areas of the country with some of the busiest airspace in the world: Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Southern California.

Letter from NATCA President Patrick Forrey to DOT Secy. Mary Peters
Wed, Jan 2, 2008

On January 3, 2008, and continuing for the next several months, over 1,100 air traffic controllers, or nearly 10% of the depleted veteran workforce, will likely retire, making the already dire ATC staffing situation even worse.