NATCA Recognizes National Engineers Week
Thursday, February 16, 2012
NATCA represents many hardworking, dedicated engineers within the workforce and as next week marks the United States National Engineers Week, NATCA recognizes them for their many contributions.
“NATCA-represented engineers employed by the FAA operate in the background for the most part, but they provide essential services that the flying public doesn’t usually consider when they think of flying in the U.S. today,” said Region X Regional Vice President Mike MacDonald.
NATCA-represented engineers are separated into four bargaining units. These engineers are accountable for a wide range of duties that are imperative in keeping the nation’s air traffic control standards the safest and most efficient in the world. About 500 NATCA members belong to the largest unit, the Engineers and Architects, and are responsible for the design, construction and remodeling of air traffic control facilities and equipment.
Many other NATCA engineers are employed in either the Safety and Operations Support Group, responsible for maintaining the National Airspace System (NAS) equipment, or the Aviation System Standards group, in charge of the maintenance for the fleet of flight inspection aircrafts. Another 100 or so engineers work in Aircraft Certification, where they ensure aircrafts are properly designed and tested. This group also investigates aircraft incidents. A smaller number of engineer members comprise the Airports Division, accountable for the approval of airports improvements, the implementation of new programs and the oversight of development projects. There are also engineers located in En Route and Terminal Automation where they provide operational computer software support and maintenance for en route centers and terminal environments.
It is obvious that the engineers have a big job within the FAA and it is important to note that just a few months ago many of these engineers were furloughed when the Senate failed to pass another FAA funding extension in August 2011. The odds seemed not in our favor when nearly 4,000 prevented from going to work, 1,200 represented by NATCA. But, the Senate passed a funding extension in September allowing FAA engineers to return to their jobs. And just this week, the FAA finally received a full FAA reauthorization - the bill was signed by the President on Tuesday - that will ensure continued safety in our skies, keeping hundreds of jobs intact and create a safer, more modern and more efficient air traffic control system.
“This week, I hope everyone will take a moment and consider the engineers who help make the US National Airspace System, the safest, most efficient in the world today,” said MacDonald.