NATCA's International Team
Friday, July 13, 2012

By Dale Wright
Director of Safety and Technology

Many NATCA members often read about air traffic control issues in Europe, Asia and South America without understanding that NATCA is involved in assisting controllers outside the United States.  There are several organizations that NATCA works with in the international air traffic control world:

·       International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) – www.ifatca.org

·       Civil Aviation Navigation Service Organization – www.canso.org

·       International Federation of Air Line Pilots Association – www.ifalpa.org

·       International Civil Aviation Organization – www.icao.int

·       International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) – www.itfglobal.org

Through IFATCA, controllers in the United States have been able to get their message out to controllers worldwide.  NATCA is very involved with three positions on the IFATCA Executive Board (see last section) along with members serving on the Technical Operations Committee (TOC) and in the IFATCA Observer to the ICAO Air Navigation Commission (ANC).  IFATCA and NATCA coordinate to attend events held in the United States and many times the NATCA representative at a meeting will also be representing IFATCA.

These members working on international issues have long histories working for NATCA. In some cases they are still working on other domestic projects.  The members of our international team are dedicated to ensuring that NATCA members are represented on issues that will affect controllers in the United States.

Below are several of members/employees who have and are working for you on international issues:

IFATCA

Andy Marosvari (Boise Tower/TRACON) is a member of NATCA’s National Safety Committee.  In 2008, IFATCA approached the Safety and Technology Department and invited the group to attend a meeting of an international safety team.  This Future Aviation Safety Team (FAST) was a team that NATCA thought would also benefit the membership so NATCA asked and received approval from IFATCA to become a permanent member of the team.  While the team’s activities have now slowed, Mr. Marosvari was a very important member of the team.

Chris Stephenson (NATCA Safety and Technology Department) is a retired controller out of DCA who works as NATCA’s Terminal Technology Coordinator.  In 2010 IFATCA’s Member Association from the Dominican Republic approached NATCA about a new tower and runway being built at Punta Cana.  They requested assistance with establishing procedures for operations utilizing the new runway and with training.  Mr. Stephenson traveled twice to the Dominican Republic for extended periods to provide assistance.  His work not only resulted in a safer operation for controllers and pilots at Punta Cana, it also improved the relationship with the controllers’ association in that country.

Bill Holtzman (Washington Center) has served for several years on the IFATCA Technical Operations Committee (TOC).  This is more or less the IFATCA Safety Committee.  Mr. Holtzman has tackled tough issues and issued working papers each year at the annual IFATCA Conference.  The toughest issue Mr. Holtzman worked was the phraseology for Standard Instrument Departure routes (SIDs) and Standard Arrival Routes (STARs).  While this issue is not yet completely finished it is near conclusion and Mr. Holtzman had a large part in it by taking measures to ensure NATCA representatives had input on his papers.  The issue was then forwarded up to the ICAO for resolution and this is where it is today.  Mr. Holtzman is scheduled to retire on August 31, 2012 and his service to NATCA should be commended.  He has been a very consistent representative we could rely on.  Melvin Davis (Southern California TRACON) will be replacing Mr. Holtzman on the IFATCA TOC.

Dr. Ruth Stilwell (Miami Center) serves as the IFATCA Observer to the ICAO Air Navigation Commission (ANC).  This is the body that addresses all air traffic issues at the ICAO level and makes determinations that affect all Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP).  Dr. Stilwell’s work has greatly improved the perception of our organization at the international level. In her role on the Commission, Dr. Stilwell has been able to join the Commissioners on their annual study trip. To read more about the Commissioners' visit to Miami in July 2012, hosted by NATCA and the FAA, please click HERE.

Garth Koleszar (Los Angeles Center) attended the IFATCA Conference in early 2012 as NATCA’s Representative to Committee C, which addresses professional and legal issues.  Mr. Koleszar’s background in Professional Standards made him one of the most qualified NATCA members for this assignment.  His work at the IFATCA Conference improved the delegates’ knowledge of Professional Standards and what NATCA is doing to make this a reality for our members.

Daniela (Danny) Aguerre (Miami Center) serves on the IFATCA Americas Regional Support Group (RSG).  She also serves as the IFATCA Representative on the ICAO Regional Aviation Safety Group – Pan America (RASG-PA).

Ric Loewen (Dallas-Fort Worth Tower) has been working with the ICAO Regional Runway Safety Seminar (RRSS) effort.  Mr. Loewen and Elliot Brann (LAX) gave presentations at the Americas RRSS in Miami earlier this year.  NATCA was a sponsor of this event.  Many countries in the ICAO Pan American Region and IFATCA Americas Region look to the United States for new technology and procedures to improve runway safety.

Scott Conde (Oakland Center) has represented NATCA in recent meetings of the ICAO Global Operational Data Link Document (GOLD). The GOLD provides guidance and information concerning data link and is intended to maximize operational benefits in data link operations by promoting seamless and interoperable data link operations throughout the world. At the meeting in June, several challenging issues arose; most involve integrating Eurocontrol issues into the GOLD. The last meeting is scheduled for February 2013 to finalize the document.

IFATCA EXECUTIVE BOARD

NATCA currently assists IFATCA with two retired members and one retired employee serving on the Federation’s Executive Board.

·       Darrell Meachum (retired Fort Worth Center and former Southwest RVP) serves as the Executive Vice President Finance of IFATCA.  This position does all of the financial work for the Federation.  This includes paying all bills, monitoring expenses, developing budgets and ensuring the Federation is audited every year.

·       Pat Forrey (retired Cleveland Center and former NATCA President along with Great Lakes RVP) serves as the EVP Technical.  This position provides support and direction to the Technical Operations Committee (TOC).  Mr. Forrey also works with other international organizations to provide the controller perspective on technology and procedural issues.

·       Adell Humphreys (retired NATCA employee) is the IFATCA Board Secretary.  Ms. Humphreys is responsible for keeping the administrative records for the Executive Board meetings.

ITF AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES

Trish Gilbert (Executive Vice President) serves as the Vice Chair of ITF's Air Traffic Services. In March, Gilbert attended the group's meeting. Items of discussion included improving the relationship between IFATCA and ETF (European Transport Workers’ Federation). Unlike NATCA, which deals with both industrial and professional issues, most other countries have a professional organization that works the professional issues such as safety, technology and procedures and a Union that handles industrial issues such as grievances, benefits, work schedules, etc. Many issues handled by one group overlap into the other’s area of jurisdiction. As you can imagine, if the relationship is strained between the two groups, or if there is a lack of communication between them, then their competing efforts, interests and/or strategies can hurt the professions and memberships they represent. Other items covered at the March meeting included, but were not limited to, International Labour Organization (ILO) participation in ICAO, fatigue, relocations due to facility movement and SESAR/NextGen.