2017 OCT CHA Birtcil Blount CongressmanFleischmann Kuapahi Wilcher
Pictured from left to right: Birtcil, Blount, Congressman Fleischmann, Kuapahi, and Wilcher.

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, who represents the 3rd District in Tennessee, his Deputy Chief of Staff (COS) Bob White, and Field Representative Michelle Harstine visited Chattanooga ATCT (CHA) on Oct. 17. The last visit to the facility by the Congressman and Deputy COS was Sept. 4, 2012.

2017 OCT CHA Gifford CongressmanFleischmann Vasquez Wilcher
From left to right: Gifford, Congressman Fleischmann, Vasquez, and Wilcher.

In the last five years, CHA has developed an outstanding relationship with the Republican Congressman and his staff. NATCA representatives have visited the Congressman and his staff several times in Washington and have attended several local legislative events. In between visits with the Congressman, members at CHA communicate with his office to keep NATCA and air traffic controllers at the top of the office’s mind.

Upon arrival, CHA’s welcome banner impressed Congressman Fleischmann. CHA Legislative Rep Michael Gifford, FacRep Nathan Wilcher, and Air Traffic Manager Bobby Vasquez greeted him. After everyone signed in, the group went into the TRACON.

The Congressman talked with all of the controllers he encountered. He was able to see the new Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) equipment and scopes, electronic flight progress strip scanners, as well as new frequency radios. They briefly discussed the airspace, including the satellite airports that CHA controllers service — as well as the other FAA facilities with which CHA communicates.

They also discussed the Erlanger Hospital Medevac Fleet that has grown from three medevac helicopters to a total of six, in addition to the out-of-state medevac aircraft CHA supports.

During the visit, White commented on the great relationship NATCA shares with his office and how he looked forward to making plans for Gifford and Congressman Fleischmann’s Legislative Director Daniel Tidwell and Gifford to meet.

The facility tour was a tremendous success. The group thanked the Congressman for outstanding work on appropriations and his continued support of NATCA, reminding him that because of his support, there is a legitimate opportunity to correct the staffing issues the FAA is facing.

 

2017 OCT CHA Wilcher CongressmanFleischmann Gifford
From left to right: Wilcher, Congressman Fleischmann, and Gifford.