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NATCA’s Annual "Communicating for Safety” Conference: Controllers, Pilots to Meet in Milwaukee to Exchange Ideas - (5/2/2005)

MILWAUKEE – Over 250 pilots and air traffic controllers from around the country will gather on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 3-4, for a unique annual aviation event: The National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s “Communicating for Safety” conference.

The site of this year’s event is the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 West Wisconsin Avenue, (414-271-7250).

The conference, in its 22nd year, brings the voices on both ends of the radio into the same room to discuss an array of topics, ranging from technical developments to human factors to phraseology.

“The concept of this conference is simple. Pilots and controllers communicate millions of times over the course of a day. We’re coming together to discuss how we can do it better,” said Orlando, Fla., controller Wes Stoops, who serves as chairman of NATCA’s National Safety Committee and is the “Communicating for Safety” moderator. “Safety is the bedrock of the aviation system. We all have a vested interest in maintaining the safest system the world.”

Highlighting the conference is a two-hour panel discussion at 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4 that will include NATCA President John Carr, Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Russ Chew and American Airlines’ Vice President of Operations, Capt. Mark Hetterman. Also scheduled to participate is Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Phil Boyer.

As in past conferences, this year’s agenda ties in to current topics and NATCA has a lineup determined to work to probe the human factors of the issues. Scheduled to participate are aviation safety experts from NASA, the FAA, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, and AOPA and its Air Safety Foundation, among many others.

“We’re pleased to say it’s going to again be a virtual ‘Who's Who’ in aviation industry safety,” said Scott Voigt, NATCA’s Southwest Region safety representative. “The success of this conference is that unlike other aviation events that are mainly made up of the front offices of all of these organizations, this meeting is made up of both the policymakers and the people who make the actual aviation system work; the people on each end of the headsets, the pilots and the air traffic controllers.”

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