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  • (Aug. 24, 2018)

    The 14th Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Award Winners
    Alaskan Region
    Scott Eastepp

    ScottEasteppAnchorage Center (ZAN) Quality Control Specialist Scott Eastepp used his knowledge and previous experience in locating a lost visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft on Jan. 30, 2017, with a severe winter storm bearing down. After the family aboard the aircraft spent one night on a snow-covered abandoned airstrip, it was not looking good for them to spend a second night with another snowstorm headed their direction.

    Pilot Josh Smith and his family left Lake Hood in Anchorage in a Cessna 180 and intended to fly 65 miles southwest to Kenai, which is located on the eastern shore of Cook Inlet. But when they didn’t arrive at Kenai Municipal Airport on schedule, a concerned family member alerted the Kenai Flight Service Station.

    The team there performed a search for a flight plan but found no information or any contact with the aircraft. They transmitted an alert notice. When ZAN controllers received the alert, they immediately began looking for the missing aircraft along its intended flight route toward Kenai.

    The aircraft did not have a transponder so the team relied on the departure time to help modify the search area.

    After reviewing replays that produce a graphical replay of air traffic, Anchorage Quality Control located a possible aircraft target and tracked it until it descended below radar coverage. After locating another possible target in close proximity to the first target, Eastepp determined they were in a “see and avoid” scenario. He recognized the beacon code of the second aircraft and immediately called the parent company in order to contact the pilot of the second aircraft. The pilot of the second aircraft stated he did see the lost aircraft and overheard over the common frequency that the “lost” aircraft was headed up to Merrill Pass, which is 100 miles away from the pilots’ intended destination of Kenai.

    Eastepp handed the case over to the Technical Operations personnel since he was no longer able to view the track since it descended below radar coverage. Technicians John Farley and Paul Mueller were able to pick up the trail and provide a general location of the lost aircraft, using an enhanced radar intelligence tool, which looks for discarded targets that do not appear on controllers’ radar scopes. They narrowed their search to a non-transponder-equipped, primary-only aircraft that departed to the north and continued west across Cook Inlet, away from their planned route.

    The ZAN team relayed the aircraft’s last known coordinates to Alaska’s Rescue Coordination Center. With severe weather approaching, a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew set out to find the missing aircraft and located it not far from the coordinates that the ZAN team provided. The crew heard the plane’s Emergency Locator Transmitter, used direction-finding equipment and, when in range, saw a flare shot by the pilot of the plane.

    The aircraft flipped while attempting to land on an abandoned snow-covered ridgeline airstrip.

    Alaska search and rescue worked very well in this event with the help of controllers, technicians, and Flight Service. Their actions helped save the life of the pilot, his father-in-law, and his 12-year-old daughter.

    (Read more about this incident from Coast Guard News.)

    Eastepp2

  • NATCA Remembers Capt. Al Haynes for a Career of Professionalism, Training, and Superior Airmanship

    25715863530 d1ee2aeada k 1WASHINGTON – Members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) join with the aviation community today in mourning the passing of Capt. Al Haynes, who will forever fondly be remembered for a career of professionalism, training, and superior airmanship. Thirty years ago last month – July 19, 1989, United Flight 232 piloted by Haynes departed Denver en route to Chicago. Sixty-seven minutes into the flight, he notified air traffic controllers that the number two engine had failed, and the aircraft was only marginally controllable. During the ensuing emergency landing at Sioux City, Iowa, 184 of the 296 passengers survived.

    For the next 25 years, Haynes gave nearly 2,000 presentations about United Flight 232, including at NATCA’s Communicating For Safety (CFS) conference in 2016. His goal was always to educate other pilots, air traffic controllers, flight attendants, emergency crews, and emergency planners. When talking about the incident, Haynes commended his crew, air traffic control, and ground units in their execution of emergency procedures and maneuvers. He also commended the cooperation between all parties involved throughout the emergency. This story that Haynes recounted remains profoundly inspiring and valuable as a teaching tool in the areas of aviation safety, training, and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).

    About Haynes, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “NATCA looks to examples of exceptionalism in aviation, like Capt. Haynes lived and taught, to provide a standard for us to strive toward. We are deeply saddened by his passing, but profoundly grateful for his career of service to aviation safety. Our Union believes that every day is a training day, and we will continue to remember how Capt. Haynes and others made a big difference in the survival rate during that flight 30 years ago.”CISMAlHaynes

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 5 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • (Aug. 24, 2018)

    CFSShulaug24

    BrianPhotoLargeBrian Shul is one of the most popular and dynamic keynote speakers in America today. His compelling story of living fearlessly and embracing the opportunities each day brings, resonates with men and women of all ages.

  • Dye1

    (Sept. 7, 2018)

    Dye5Paul Dye has over 40 years of aviation experience as an engineer, builder and pilot. His scope has ranged from restoring old light aircraft to planning and leading manned spaceflights. His love of flying machines dates back to early childhood, and he became involved with full-sized aircraft as a teenager, rebuilding J-3 Cubs with an FBO in Minnesota. He earned his degree in Aeronautical Engineering with a specialization in aircraft design and flight testing from the University of Minnesota in 1982.

  • Fewer fully trained controllers on the job now than any point in last 30 years

    WASHINGTON – Because of the federal government shutdown, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has closed its training academy in Oklahoma City where new air traffic controller hires go to begin their careers. In addition, classroom and simulator training at air traffic control facilities also is suspended during this shutdown. Along with 3,000 other aviation safety professionals represented by NATCA, many new hires who have recently graduated from the academy and begun working at their first air traffic control facility are furloughed, their critical training halted along with their pay.

    Although classes at the academy are currently being delayed, soon they could be canceled, which would lead to fewer new hires by the FAA in fiscal year 2019. Stopping the hiring and training pipeline will exacerbate the current controller staffing crisis. The number of fully certified controllers has fallen more than 10 percent in just the past six years and is now at a 30-year low. Furthermore, nearly one in five of these controllers are eligible to retire (18 percent).

    “This staffing crisis is negatively affecting the National Airspace System, and the shutdown almost certainly will make a bad situation worse,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “Even before the shutdown, controllers have needed to work longer and harder to make up for the staffing shortfall. Overtime in the form of six-day weeks and 10-hour days is common at many of the nation’s busiest and most short-staffed facilities including radar facilities in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. And none of the controllers forced to work during this shutdown will see pay for their hard work to keep travelers safe until the shutdown ends. This shutdown must end now.”

    Rinaldi continued, “If the staffing shortage gets worse, we will see reduced capacity in the National Airspace System, meaning more flight delays. A lack of adequate staffing also hurts the FAA’s ability to develop new technology and modernize the system, and controllers also don’t get the amount of time they need for training.”

    The latest staffing data from the FAA shows the Agency has not made up for the sequester hiring freeze and subsequent shutdown in 2013 but plans to hire over 1,400 new air traffic controller trainees in fiscal year 2019. The closure of the training academy due to the shutdown complicates that plan. Even when the shutdown ends, it will take 1-2 weeks to recall all employees and instructors. This shutdown will cause a ripple effect, delaying all training courses throughout 2019.

    Hiring one new trainee for every controller who retires doesn’t keep up with attrition. Only 64 percent of Oklahoma City academy new hires have successfully completed the initial classroom training program. That said, those who clear the academy have helped the FAA increase the number of ATC trainees at air traffic facilities each of the last four years. Although there has been more hiring and a larger number of trainees, we haven’t seen enough of those developmental stage trainees successfully complete training to be air traffic controllers, and the number of fully certified controllers has continued to drop during that span. Because of these continuing FAA challenges with training, the FAA has not been able to resolve the staffing crisis. This shutdown will make that situation worse.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Offers condolences to their families, friends & fellow union members

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following statement regarding the tragic loss of the three crew members of the Atlas Air Flight 5Y3591, who died after the Boeing 767-300 freighter aircraft that they were operating for Amazon Prime Air crashed into Trinity Bay east of Houston, Texas, on Saturday afternoon:

    “Today, as the aviation community mourns this terrible tragedy, NATCA remembers the lives of the three Atlas Air crew members aboard Flight 5Y3591. Our Union’s thoughts are with their families and friends, and we offer our deepest condolences to them. NATCA also stands with the co-workers and fellow pilots of the deceased.

    “NATCA also is saddened for our members at Houston Terminal Radar Approach Control (I90), especially for those air traffic controllers who worked this flight. We offer our full support to them. The safety of every flight is our highest priority. When an incident occurs, it deeply affects everyone in the aviation family, including the nearly 20,000 controllers and other aviation safety professionals represented by our Union.

    “The deceased were fellow union brothers, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. They were members of the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local Union No. 1224. NATCA stands today with all members of their union. We offer our support as they deal with the loss of their brothers.

    “NATCA pledges its full cooperation in the investigation into this crash and has party status with the National Transportation Safety Board.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Dustin1

    (Sept. 7, 2018)

    The aviation bug bit Houston Center (ZHU) member Dustin Newell at a very young age – 5 or 6 by his estimation – and it’s never let go over these past 35 years. In fact, he says, his love of flying has grown even stronger.

    For Newell, next month will mark his 10th anniversary of being an air traffic controller, all at ZHU. It’s also the 26th anniversary of his first flight at age 14. His transition to ATC when he was 30 followed a job at ZHU in Tech Ops in the environmental unit. Before that, he was in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electrician. He also volunteered last July as part of the team of NATCA members who worked with pilots, kids, and attendees at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.

    But what started it all were those trips with his father to watch the F-18s and the F-4s fly over from Fort Leonard Wood in southwestern Missouri and practice dropping bombs and shooting targets. The military base was northeast of Newell’s hometown of Republic, Mo., just outside of Springfield.

    “Ever since I can remember, I have loved flying,” he said. “I’d lay there in the backyard staring at airplanes as much as I possibly could.”

    When he was 8 years old, Newell’s mother took him to see “Top Gun.” Not once. Not twice. But 26 times. Four years later, she took him to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to walk around and marvel at the machines of flight for three days. “I’ve had the bug,” he said. “I don’t know how to explain it totally. It’s just something that eats you up.”

    Newell’s first time in a cockpit, in a Cessna 150 discovery flight, was at Springfield-Branson National Airport. That was it, he was hooked from just one takeoff experience. He also flew at nearby Aurora Airport. Then, as he puts it, life got in the way. He quit high school to join the Navy at 18 years old. He almost finished his pilot’s license work there. Then he got married, started a family, and moved to Houston. When he arrived, he said he was determined to finish getting his pilot’s license and instrument rating.

    But a friend’s death in an aviation accident in Conroe, Texas, hit him hard. Then he and his wife grew their family with more children. Another seven years passed and he didn’t fly. But then eight years ago, he saw a Cessna 150 for sale, bought it, took it to a nearby airport and said, “‘well, it’s probably like riding a bike,’ and started flying again.” Now, he adds, “I try and fly every week.”

    After he restarted flying again, he flew several Angel Flight missions to take patients to needed medical care. A conversation with another controller, Hugh McFarland of Houston TRACON, introduced him to Pilots for Patients, a Monroe, La.,-based organization providing free air transportation to those patients needing diagnosis and treatments at medical facilities not available to them locally.

    Newell bought a Piper Arrow specifically for PFP to ensure patient comfort and be certified for IFR flight if needed. PFP began with five pilots in 2008 and now has over 140 pilots serving mostly the Louisiana and eastern Texas Gulf Coast region. In 10 years, PFP pilots have completed 4,357 missions, flying 1,611,750 total miles. Ninety percent of the patients are flown to and from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

    Last week, Newell flew a breast cancer patient and her husband down from their home in Arkansas, saving them the 10-hour round trip it would have taken by car.

    “That’s the last thing one of these patients wants to deal with after undergoing radiation or chemotherapy,” Newell said.

    Newell said he used to fly his plane only for selfish interest and pleasure, sometimes going to get the “$100 hamburger” at a destination that required that much amount of money for fuel to get there and back. Now, he says, flying to serve others has become his passion, calling, and mission in life.

    “What better to give back to humanity then fly these patients?” he said. “I spend the same amount of money and I get just pride and joy from it every time.”

    Newell said he remembers his first flight for PFP, helping an elderly woman with cancer.

    “She got to telling me her life story and it almost had me in tears,” he said. “What this lady had been through in her life was just astonishing.”

    Big hugs at the end of each flight are what Newell said make it all worthwhile. “I know they appreciate what we’re doing for them,” he said. “I get the joy of helping them out and the joy of flying all in one so it’s a win-win.”

    Dustin2Newell just completed his 10th flight for PFP in August, which earned him a new PFP shirt and a case of oil from the organization (pictured at right). He soon completed his 11th mission and is eagerly awaiting No. 12 and many more.

    The months of August and September also offer Newell a reflection on another anniversary, this one very negative. It was one year ago that Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, and the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region.

    But he says the experience brought out the best of everyone at ZHU and other area NATCA facilities. “Everybody went to help each other out,” he says. He and many other members helped clean up and repair fellow members’ homes and others in the neighborhoods hardest hit including Kingwood.

    Newell also found a way to help with aviation. He got word that controllers at Beaumont were isolated due to floodwaters there. They could not get home or obtain supplies. Newell teamed up with a friend from United Airlines and stocked two planes full at max weight full of food and supplies and delivered them.

    Helping others through aviation. It’s what it’s all about, Newell says.

    Dustin3

  • MEDIA ADVISORY

    WHAT:            National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO v. The United States, hearing on NATCA’s motion for a temporary restraining order

    WHEN:           Tuesday, Jan. 15, noon

    WHERE:         United States District Court for the District of Columbia

                            Courtroom 18, before Senior Judge Richard Leon

                            333 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington D.C. 20001

    WHO:              Molly Elkin, Partner, Woodley & McGillivary on behalf of NATCA

    SUMMARY:    On Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, AFL-CIO (NATCA) filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of its members who have not been paid for their work since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) appropriations lapsed in late December.

    NATCA requested an expedited hearing on its motion for a Temporary Restraining Order against the United States government for its violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. NATCA alleges that the government unlawfully deprived NATCA members of their earned wages without due process.

    The suit also alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for failure to pay at least the minimum wage to air traffic controllers and other NATCA members who are excepted from the furloughs during the government shutdown. Finally, it alleges that the FAA failed to promptly pay overtime to NATCA members in violation of the FLSA. On behalf of its members, NATCA seeks an order requiring the government to pay its members for the work they have performed as well as liquidated damages.

    The air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators, and other excepted aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck. If not for the shutdown, NATCA members would have begun to receive direct deposit of their pay into their accounts last Friday.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Controllers Explain How Shutdown Is Detrimental to Safety and Efficiency of the National Airspace System and Will Worsen Staffing Crisis

    WASHINGTON – The partial government shutdown is now in its 24th day, and no resolution is in sight. In an effort to expand the discussion about the effects of the shutdown, members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) this morning have begun informational leafleting at targeted airports around the country. Participating air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals plan to engage with travelers to explain how the partial government shutdown is detrimental to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. Today, NATCA is beginning leafleting at airports in Atlanta; Dallas/Fort Worth; Minneapolis/St. Paul.; and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. NATCA members plan to expand these activities to about 50 additional airports around the country in coming days.

    NATCA members will distribute brochures explaining how the shutdown results in air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals either being furloughed or being compelled to work without a timely paycheck. Participating members will explain how the shutdown will worsen a controller staffing crisis that has existed since a previous government shutdown in 2013. They will describe how the shutdown stopped all modernization projects at the FAA.

    After the government shut down last month, NATCA began reaching out to lawmakers, the media, and other aviation stakeholders to advocate for an end to it. With this leafleting, NATCA will make an appeal directly to members of the public. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi explained, “This shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. It is having unacceptable effects on our airspace system and the thousands of hard-working men and women who work tirelessly to maintain what is the safest and most efficient airspace system in the world. The shutdown must end immediately. Our union will not stop until the government reopens.”

    LOCATIONS & TIMES FOR INITIAL LEAFLETING:

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 8:00 a.m. EST until 6:00 p.m. EST 

    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Dan McCabe, 678-334-1719, is at leafleting today, now until 6 p.m. EST

    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 8:00 a.m. CST until 8:00 p.m. CST

    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Nick Daniels, 817-320-5080, is at leafleting today through Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.; on Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. CST

    Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. International Airport (MSP)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 7:00 a.m. CST until 7:00 p.m. CST
    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Tony Walsh, 763-742-6708, is at leafleting today from 3-7 p.m. CST

    Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
    Monday, Jan. 14, 12:00 p.m. EST until 5:00 p.m. EST

    Local NATCA contact for interviews: Nicholas Stott, 251-545-7333, will be at leafleting today from 1-3 p.m. EST

    LINK TO PDF COPY OF LEAFLET: Please click here

    MORE INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST LOCAL CONTACT Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; PREFER TEXTING PLEASE TO ENSURE QUICKER RESPONSE 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • This Senseless Government Shutdown Makes Even Less Sense, End the Shutdown Now

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following statement about the “Government Employee Fair Treatment Act of 2019,” after the President signed it into law today. The law guarantees back pay to federal employees affected by the lapse in appropriations following the conclusion of the partial government shutdown.

    NATCA’s President Paul Rinaldi stated:

    NATCA applauds the Senate, the House, and the President for enacting this law that guarantees back pay to federal employees affected by the shutdown. With clear bipartisan support for doing the right thing - paying all employees after the shutdown ends - this senseless government shutdown makes even less sense. There is no reason to keep employees home and furloughed now that they are guaranteed their pay. Our elected leaders need to be responsible stewards of American taxpayer dollars and end this shutdown immediately. 

    This protracted government shutdown is eroding the layers of redundancy and support necessary to maintain the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS). Approximately, 3,000 NATCA-represented aviation safety professionals are furloughed as a result of the shutdown, and their critical safety work isn’t getting done. Many safety activities that proactively reduce risk and increase the safety of the NAS have been suspended. The National Airspace System is less safe today than before the shutdown began.

    The National Airspace System has already been dramatically affected by what has become the longest government shutdown in history. If this shutdown continues, it will further erode the system’s capacity, resulting in more flight delays.

    The effects of the shutdown are being felt by both big and small businesses and their employees across the nation, including America’s airlines, manufacturers of aviation equipment and technology, government contractors, and the millions of small businesses that provide goods and services to the federal employees affected by the shutdown, both those furloughed and those working without pay.

    The Senate must act. End the shutdown today. Allow furloughed employees to return to work and pay all federal workers.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi today congratulated Steve Dickson, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 18th Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Rinaldi issued this statement:
    “NATCA congratulates Administrator Dickson on his confirmation. We look forward to continuing our great working relationship with him. For nearly a decade, I have had the pleasure of working with Administrator Dickson, as we have served as members on the FAA’s Management Advisory Committee. I have personally experienced his leadership in the aviation safety community.
    “NATCA shares with Administrator Dickson a strong commitment to the safety of our National Airspace System. Throughout the last decade, NATCA and the FAA have enjoyed a successful working relationship that has enabled notable progress modernizing the National Airspace System and strengthening the workforce. We look forward to furthering these efforts with the new Administrator.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, five Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Carol1WASHINGTON – Carol Branaman, a dedicated air traffic controller at facilities in Florida and Colorado, who served as one of the first two women on the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) National Executive Board from 2000-2006, passed away this morning. She was 67.

    Branaman was a beloved sister, union activist, and friend. She gave her time, talent, energy, and leadership skills to her union, to better the lives and careers of her fellow controllers and aviation safety professionals. In 2000, Branaman was elected as Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President (RVP), representing NATCA members in the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. She joined Executive Vice President Ruth Stilwell, also elected in 2000, as the first two women to serve on the Union’s National Executive Board. Branaman served two three-year terms.

    “NATCA mourns her passing and extends our deepest condolences to Carol’s family and friends,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “The energy she gave to the Executive Board was boundless, and the leadership and devotion she showed were inspiring to Northwest Mountain Region members. She supplied a fresh, groundbreaking, and incredibly strong and dedicated voice to our Union at a time when we were growing and building our collective spirit and deep bonds of solidarity. Our Union is what it is today because of amazing leaders like Carol.”

    Branaman inspired other NATCA leaders who came after her, including Trish Gilbert, who has served as NATCA’s Executive Vice President since 2009.

    "As a NATCA activist, I could not help but be in awe of Carol’s leadership, tenacity, thoughtfulness and profound insight into NATCA’s strategy and journey,” Gilbert said. “Due to her hard work and dedication, our beloved union is stronger, prouder and more diverse today!"

    Branaman started her air traffic control career at Daytona Beach ATCT (DAB) and later transferred to Centennial ATCT (APA) in Colorado. She was also a member of the NATCA contract negotiating team that worked on the landmark 1998 collective bargaining agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration known as the “Green Book.” That agreement marked the first time that a controller’s union negotiated pay with its employer. The new system tied pay to air traffic operational complexity.

    “She was a trailblazer,” said NATCA’s current Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President Alex Navarro. “NATCA is only in a position of strength because of people like Carol. She is the exact example that we should strive to be. She broke down barriers and never let others define who she would be. She put herself out there when norms said she couldn’t. Carol was a leader.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, five Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

    Carol2  Carol3 
      Above: Carol Branaman accepts a "Natty Award" (now called the Tim Haines Memorial Award of Honor and Distinction) from former NATCA President John Carr at the 2006 NATCA Biennial Convention in Boston. Branaman that year was serving her sixth and final year as Northwest Mountain Regional Vice President.

     

     

     

  • WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi today congratulated Steve Dickson, whom President Trump intends to nominate to be the next administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Rinaldi issued this statement:

    “NATCA congratulates Steve on being nominated as FAA administrator, and we strongly support his confirmation by the U.S. Senate. This is a well-deserved appointment for Steve, who has had an accomplished career, including his serving as an F-15 fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force and his 27 years at Delta Air Lines where he has been a respected leader in the aviation community. I have served with Steve on the FAA’s Management Advisory Committee.

    “Throughout his career, Steve has been a staunch advocate for aviation safety, and we share that commitment to the safety of our National Airspace System. NATCA and the FAA have a successful working relationship that has enabled notable progress on modernizing the National Airspace System and building a stronger workforce. If he is confirmed, we will look forward to working with Steve to continue this relationship.

    “NATCA also thanks Dan Elwell for his leadership of the Agency as acting administrator.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) today issued this statement from NATCA President Paul Rinaldi regarding the shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that began at 12:01 a.m. EST today. (Note: The FAA shutdown did not begin Saturday with the rest of the ongoing government shutdown, because the Agency had operations budget funds available to continue both excepted and non-excepted activities. Activities paid out of other FAA budget accounts continue to have funds available.)

    “This marks the third government shutdown in 2018. The shutdown and continued lack of a stable, predictable funding stream is no way to operate and grow the world’s safest, most complex, most efficient airspace system.

    “The air traffic controllers and traffic management coordinators that NATCA represents remain on the job, dedicated to the safety of every flight, but they don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck. Additionally, approximately 3,000 NATCA-represented aviation safety professionals, who work across our bargaining units at air traffic control and other FAA facilities, will be furloughed at midnight tonight. Among these professionals are staff support specialists who work at air traffic control facilities to provide tactical, strategic, and administrative support of training, quality assurance, traffic management, airspace and procedures, operational automation, military operations, and safety management system. Other furloughed aviation safety professionals include aircraft certification engineers, who assist in design, production approvals, and airworthiness certification of aircraft and their components, engineers who design and construct critical infrastructure necessary for safe flight operations including air traffic control towers, radar maintenance and installation, navigational aids, and communications systems, and flight test pilots.

    “This shutdown, whether it lasts one hour, one day, one week, or more, reinforces our strong belief that the status quo is broken. When these aviation safety professionals are prohibited from working as a result of political dysfunction, the flying public and the National Airspace System suffer. Air traffic control is very much a team effort, and the worst part of a shutdown, beyond furloughs and an uncertain date of their next paycheck, is the fact that many key members of the team are sent home. That hurts the operation.

    “The FAA requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term and NextGen modernization projects, preventative maintenance, and ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure.”

    Effects of the shutdown include, but are not limited to:

    • The enroute Data Communications (Data Comm) program, which is in the initial stage of deployment. This stage sets the foundation for all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) to be able to utilize the functionality of Data Comm. With the shutdown, training and deployment schedules for both air traffic controllers and pilots are being negatively affected because of the integrated schedule.
    • Closure of the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City that provides initial classroom training for the approximately 1,430 new hires training to become air traffic controllers. A significant amount of on the job training at air traffic control facilities also stops during a shutdown. Stopping the hiring and training pipeline for even one day is detrimental to the urgent need to ease a controller staffing crisis that has resulted in the lowest level of fully certified controllers in 30 years.
    • Stoppage of many other NextGen air traffic control modernization programs such as Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM), which hold great potential for increasing the efficiency of flights in the airport surface and terminal airspace. Other flight efficiency-enhancing programs like redesigning flight paths in large Metroplex programs near busy airspace like Las Vegas, South Florida, and Denver would also come to a halt.
    • Stoppage of important work in the FAA’s Aircraft Certification division, including work on all Airworthiness Directives that mandate safety fixes/changes to existing aircraft.
    • Work stoppage on major airport and air traffic control construction projects, like the new air traffic control tower and terminal radar approach control in Charlotte that was scheduled to open in January. Critical work is ongoing to ensure the tower is operational, but the project will now be delayed.
    • Work stoppage on building modernization projects, like at Seattle Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZSE), which is responsible for the airspace above a large swath of the Pacific Northwest. Controllers and other aviation safety professionals at ZSE were instrumental in ensuring the safety of the airspace and all aircraft when an airline employee stole a plane from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last August and flew it erratically until eventually crashing in a wooded island in Puget Sound. The required modernization work includes a complex and critical replacement of the cooling system for the equipment that controllers use to safely work traffic.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • NATCA Congratulates Joe DePete on Election to Lead ALPA
    Rinaldi Describes Long History of NATCA & ALPA Collaboration

    WASHINGTON – NATCA today congratulates Capt. Joe DePete on his election as the 11th President of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA). DePete will begin his term on Jan. 1, 2019.

    NATCA President Paul Rinaldi stated, “NATCA and ALPA have a long history of collaboration and solidarity that has advanced the lives and professions of the members of our two great unions. ALPA continues to be a reliable partner, working with NATCA to improve, modernize, and preserve the safety of our National Airspace System (NAS).”

    Rinaldi continued, “We thank Capt. Tim Canoll for being a great friend to NATCA during his tenure as ALPA President, and we congratulate Capt. DePete on his election. We look forward to working with him and ALPA’s other leaders as we continue to ad

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, four Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Aviation Safety Leader Will Detail How Shutdown Resulted in Reduced Aviation Safety at Feb. 13 House Aviation Subcommittee Hearing

    WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi will testify on Feb. 13 before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, at a hearing entitled “Putting U.S. Aviation Safety at Risk: The Impact of the Shutdown.”

    With the National Airspace System still reeling from the negative effects of the recent 35-day government shutdown, Rinaldi will deliver an impassioned message about how the shutdown eroded the layers of critical elements necessary to support and maintain the safety of the NAS. Rinaldi will also detail how the workforce was negatively affected by stress, fatigue, and distraction caused by the shutdown and the uncertainty about when it would end. He will brief the Committee on the costs to taxpayers, including the shutdown-related delays to critical safety programs. He will explain why we cannot allow another shutdown to happen on Feb. 16, or ever again.

    WHAT:            U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation, hearing entitled “Putting U.S. Aviation Safety at Risk: The Impact of the Shutdown.”

    WHEN:            Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m. EST.

    WHERE:         HVC 210, Capitol Visitor Center. Click here to learn more about the hearing, including how to watch it streamed live.

    WHO:              NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. NATCA will make Rinaldi’s full written testimony available at the start of the hearing, both on its website natca.org and via email to its media list. Rinaldi will be available for media following the hearing outside the hearing room.

     

    To be added to the list, please email dchurch@natcadc.org.

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • NATCA Achieves Never Before Accomplished Organizing Goal When Large Regional Facility – Washington Center – Reaches 100 Percent Union Membership Status

    LEESBURG, Va. – In an astounding achievement for labor union organizing and solidarity, the local chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC; ZDC) today became a 100 percent NATCA facility, meaning all 379 NATCA-represented air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals who work there have chosen to be dues-paying NATCA members.

    ZDC, sometimes also referred to as Washington Center, is the first regional center and largest facility in the National Airspace System (NAS) to have all of its NATCA-represented employees become members of the Union.

    “We are proud to represent each of our members who – through NATCA – have a strong voice to improve both their workplaces and their aviation safety professions. But what Washington Center has accomplished is truly remarkable and groundbreaking and has raised the bar for what is possible when we are unified in solidarity,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “The men and women of ZDC have earned a special place in the 32-year history of NATCA and we are so excited for them and for our entire Union!”

    Washington Center is a regional radar facility that is responsible for the safety of 140,000 square miles of airspace above most of Virginia and North Carolina, and parts of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It is one of 21 such facilities in the NAS, of which 20 are in the continental United States. ZDC is also the third-busiest center, handling more than 2.5 million aircraft each year.

    NATCA Eastern Regional Vice President Rich Santa, himself a veteran air traffic controller at ZDC, said, “I am proud of the membership at Washington Center. I am honored to be the Eastern Regional Vice President for this monumental occasion. Our commitment to teamwork and solidarity has resulted in the first 100 percent regional center facility in NATCA's history. The 379 members at ZDC have embraced the importance of our collective spirit, setting a new benchmark for our great Union. Thank you to the members of ZDC.”

    NATCA ZDC Facility Representative Brian Shallenberger said, “We are thrilled at Washington Center that we achieved 100 percent NATCA membership. This proves that our collective voice is stronger than any one single member. Any challenge ahead will be met with the wall of our collective spirit and strength, and that is truly amazing. We look forward to the future of our local and will continue to spread the word that being a NATCA member is the right and only choice.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 5 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • NATCA Applauds Senate for Vote on FAA Reauthorization
    Five-Year Reauthorization Is Key Part to Long-Term Stability for FAA

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) today issued this statement from NATCA President Paul Rinaldi after the U.S. Senate passed a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill with overwhelming bipartisan support. The length of the reauthorization is notable; it’s the first time since 1982 that the FAA will have received a full five-year reauthorization.

    Rinaldi stated, “The five-year reauthorization is a key part of providing long-term stability for the FAA, which NATCA has advocated for over the last several years. It supports air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization of the physical infrastructure, and maintaining services to all segments of our nation’s diverse aviation community.

    “This bipartisan bill would not have been possible without the great leadership of Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. NATCA thanks them for their efforts to reach consensus on the legislation and leading this bill to its successful passage in the Senate.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, four Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Legislation Would Provide Longer-Term Stability for the FAA

    WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) today issued this statement from NATCA President Paul Rinaldi in support of the bipartisan congressional agreement on a five-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill:

    Rinaldi stated, “Our nation must have an FAA that is authorized for the long term as part of providing a stable, predictable funding stream for the National Airspace System (NAS). Today’s news from Capitol Hill is a major step in that direction. NATCA applauds the bipartisan leadership in both the House and Senate who negotiated this agreement. Specifically, we applaud the leadership of Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J., and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., in the House, and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., and Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in the Senate.

    “We urge full congressional passage and the President’s signing of this bill before the Sept. 30 deadline to ensure FAA stability through the end of fiscal year 2023.

    “This legislation would provide the longer-term stability for the FAA for which NATCA has advocated for years. The future of our NAS and the FAA’s ability to effectively plan and modernize the system and properly staff and train the air traffic controller workforce is reliant upon a long-term stable, predictable funding stream.”

    MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

    # # #

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

  • Social campaign 1

    This week, NATCA once again is bringing activists to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Congress. The message those activists bring to congressional offices will be made stronger when it is backed by our collective voice in social media. Our Union needs your help to get this done! We need you to post and tweet NATCA messaging to the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts of our government leaders, including:

    • Your congressional delegation (your House member and both Senators)
    • The Speaker of the House (Speaker Nancy Pelosi)
    • The House Minority Leader (Congressman Kevin McCarthy)
    • The Senate Majority Leader (Senator Mitch McConnell)
    • The Senate Minority Leader (Senator Chuck Schumer)
    • The White House

    LIST OF SOCIAL ACCOUNTS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE

    Click here for Congress Social Media Contact info.

    EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FOR NATCA MEMBERS

    • Each day the shutdown continues, the air traffic control system becomes less safe. As the flying public zooms through the sky, planes are being directed by unpaid federal employees worried about paying their bills. #NATCA #EndTheShutdownNow
    • I’m working without pay in one of the most stressful jobs there is. And if you fly in this country this directly affects you. Aviation safety isn’t a political game. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Controllers have to be 100% focused, 100% of the time. That’s hard to do when they can’t pay their bills. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • We’re at 30-year low of certified controllers and the ones who remain on the job aren’t being paid. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • ATC modernization delayed. Aviation safety upgrades delayed. The #shutdown jeopardizing safety & costing taxpayers billions. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • FACT: Stress on short-staffed, professional air traffic controllers is increasing every day. That’s bad news for the flying public, and it’s what happens when you require people to work without pay for over a month. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Our national airspace system is broken down. Our morale is beat down. We need to #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • No paychecks + deteriorating morale + indefinitely running the safest, most complex airspace system in the world while being used as political pawns = Increased Stress and Reduced Safety.  #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Senator: Do you have any flights planned this week? While you and your family are in the air, your air traffic controllers are working without pay. Safety is our priority, ending the #shutdown should be yours. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • I am an air traffic controller (and a veteran who served in the SERVICE BRANCH in THEATER if applicable). The safety of our national airspace system is at risk. We're making tough decisions about our family's situation and our careers. It isn’t about politics. It’s about our livelihood. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA 

    EXAMPLE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FOR THE PUBLIC

    • Requiring over 15,000 air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals to work without pay is not American and it’s not right. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • Pay the men and women who are working tirelessly to keep the flying public safe. #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA
    • I fly all the time and I trust our nation’s air traffic controllers and other safety professionals to keep me safe. I’m shocked they are being required to work without pay.  That’s wrong. They deserve to be paid.  #EndTheShutdownNow #NATCA

    POSTING GUIDELINES

    1. Members can be held responsible for inappropriate social media posts that have a demonstrated nexus to their employment, and there are excepted employees at the FAA who are monitoring social media for inappropriate content. Below are some guidelines for posting on social media:
      • DO tell your personal stories.
      • DO encourage friends and family to participate in our campaigns.
      • DO NOT engage in, encourage, post, or comment about strikes, slowdowns, or sick-outs.
      • DO NOT joke about "no pay vectors" or "shutdown flu."
      • DO NOT vent about safety concerns or equipment problems.
      • DO NOT make reference to supporting or opposing a political office holder.
      • DO NOT engage in degrading comments or name-calling about elected officials.
    1. Social Media/Hatch Act Guidelines (per the U.S. Office of Special Counsel):
      • Employees may not engage in “political activity” while on duty or in the federal workplace.
      • “Political activity” refers to any activity directed at the success or failure of a political party or partisan political group, or candidate for partisan office.
      • In the social media context, political activity includes sharing, liking, or retweeting a post from a partisan group or candidate for partisan office, or posting and/or tweeting a comment about a partisan group or candidate for partisan office.
      • Federal employees may not:
        • Use a social media account in your official capacity to engage in political activity at any time (but including your official title/position on a social media profile is allowed);
        • Tweet, retweet, share, or like a post or content that solicits political contributions at any time;
        • Like or follow the social media page of a candidate for partisan office or partisan group while on duty or in the workplace; or
        • Engage in political activity via social media while on duty or in the workplace.

     

    GRAPHICS FOR SOCIAL POSTS

    Social Campaign 1 1

    Social Campaign 2 1

    Social Campaign 3

     Social Campaign 4

    Social Campaign 5

    Social Campaign 6

    Social Campaign 7 1

    Social Campaign 0