A80 Member Accepts Prestigious DOT Award
Friday, November 16, 2012

A80 Member Jim Allerdice, at Thursday's 45th Annual Department of Transportation Awards Ceremony at DOT Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Allerdice received the Secretary's Award for Excellence.

Jim Allerdice's wife, Colleen, and his award at DOT Headquarters on Thursday.

Atlanta TRACON (A80) member Jim Allerdice was presented with the prestigious Department of Transportation Secretary’s Award for Excellence during the Secretary's 45th Annual Awards ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Allerdice was joined by his wife, Colleen. Back home in Atlanta, he was supported and cheered on by a very proud group of members at A80.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than Jim Allerdice,” said A80 Facility Representative Mike Ryan of his predecessor. Allerdice served as A80 FacRep from May 2006 to March 2008. “This award is a tribute to the exceptional work that Jim and his Atlanta TRACON brothers and sisters do every day."

The award inscription reads: “For outstanding service to the American people, recognizing the dedication, achievement and leadership in the areas of Performance Based Navigation, Environmental Stewardship and fiscal responsibility.”

NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert praised Allerdice’s career-long dedication to the union and to the safety of the National Airspace System (NAS) for more than two decades.

“It is wonderful to see such a dedicated NATCA member receive an important award like this because it recognizes the value of collaboration and front-line worker involvement in moving our profession and our NAS forward,” she said. “We are grateful to Jim, our members at A80 and all of our dedicated representatives nationwide who are serving this union with honor and distinction.”

"I'm very honored,” Allerdice said. “But if it weren't for the dedication and willingness to embrace change from our Atlanta controllers, there is no way I would be in line for this award."

Allerdice said that thanks to his open-minded manager, Brian Lentini, the Atlanta area was able to get involved in Area Navigation (RNAV) procedures to advance NextGen. He gives a lot of credit to Lentini, for "creating an atmosphere that allows his employees to be creative." Allerdice said many times managers shy away from the spotlight because there are a lot of risks and responsibilities, but, together, the two really wanted to take those risks to advance towards NextGen.

Allerdice said the single best procedure Atlanta was able to implement was Equivalent Lateral Spacing Operations (ELSO) using RNAV. Since the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport has noise sensitive areas, the team had to figure out a way to abide by those rules while also adding departure capacities to the airport.

“Our goal was to safely add 8-13 airplanes per hour, and we surpassed that number," said Allerdice. "This procedure benefited everyone — the tower, the TRACON, the airports, the airlines and the surrounding communities."

Ryan said it was Allerdice who pushed this project to success with his leadership and determination.

“Jim has enthusiastically embraced the challenge of using NextGen technology to produce a more cost effective and ‘greener’ air traffic system for the users at Atlanta,” Ryan said. “Jim’s work to ensure that the local NATCA workforce, the user community, and the Agency have worked collaboratively to integrate Performance Based Navigation tools into the NAS with uncompromised safety has made A80 the flagship for NextGen.”

In addition to Allerdice, seven NATCA members from the Aircraft Certification bargaining unit were honored with a DOT team award along with other employees on the Boeing 787 Certification Team, AVS.

The Engineers/Northwest Mountain (ENM) members honored were: Kenneth Frey, Howard Hall, Shannon Lennon, Narinder Luthra, Stephen Oshiro, Jeffrey Palmer and Kenneth Schroer.