NATCA Member Receives Highest Honor at EAA AirVenture
Friday, August 09, 2013

Each year, the team of volunteer air traffic controllers who work tirelessly throughout the week of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh nominate one of their peers to receive the AirVenture Controller of the Year Award. This year, NATCA member Greg Emberland received this prestigious award.
"It's an award of your peers, and Greg earned the admiration of his peers to win this award," said Dan Carrico, a controller and NATCA facility representative at Chicago-O'Hare Tower who worked at this year's AirVenture as a controller and served as NATCA facility representative. "Last year was my first year up here, and Greg was real helpful in pointing me to the right direction as far as what to do and how it all works. He is a big part of the whole team concept at Oshkosh."
Emberland has spent his entire career as an air traffic controller at Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Emberland attributed the people he has worked with and the unique aircraft as the best parts of working the airshow.
“It’s world class, and it doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world,” Emberland said. “It’s a privilege to be able to go there and work with some of the best controllers in the world.”
Emberland received the award on Sunday, August 4, during the annual end of the show banquet put together for the air traffic controllers who worked AirVenture throughout the week.
“I would like to express how surprised and humbled I am to be singled out by a group of my peers,” Emberland said. “To be voted into this small group of my peers, it’s like being voted into the hall of fame.”

Emberland is the fifth controller from MSP to receive the AirVenture Controller of the Year Award.  Previous winners include: Bob Reed, Dave King, John Moore and Sam Tomlin.

“In a way, the award has come home,” said Tomlin, NATCA Facility Representative at MSP.  “As a former recipient of this award, I can tell you that I am very proud to say congratulations to Greg for this honor. Greg has always exhibited qualities that NATCA is about – being professional, knowledgeable and caring about his co-workers.  His participation at the EAA convention in Oshkosh is only the tip of the iceberg as far as Greg’s involvement in our union.”

Emberland has served as the vice president and legislative representative for MSP in the past.  He also is involved in cadre training for the recurrent training at multiple facilities.

Tradition holds that the winner of the AirVenture Controller of the Year Award gets to work at the Sun ‘n Fun airshow in Lakeland, Fla., the following year.

Emberland poses with his award and orange Sun 'N Fun shirt that he will wear next spring in Lakeland.