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NATCA Salutes U.S. Controllers, IFATCA, on International Day of the Air Traffic Controller - (10/20/2009)

CONTACT: Doug Church, 301-346-8245

WASHINGTON – Saluting the exceptional safety record, skill and dedication of the air traffic controllers it represents nationwide, NATCA today is joining with its colleagues around the world in recognizing “International Day of the Air Traffic Controller” which this year is commemorating the 48th anniversary of the founding of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA).

IFATCA is the worldwide organization representing more than 50,000 air traffic controllers in 137 countries. The goals of the federation are to:

-Promote safety, efficiency, and regularity in international air navigation.

-Assist and advise in the development of safe and orderly systems of air traffic control and new procedures and facilities.

-Promote and uphold a high standard of knowledge and professional efficiency among air traffic controllers.

-Closely cooperate with international and national aviation authorities and institutions concerned with air navigation.

-Sponsor and support the passage of legislation and regulations which will increase and protect the safety of air navigation.

-Strive for a worldwide federation of air traffic controllers’ associations.

“We are extremely proud to celebrate our profession on this international day of recognition for performing a critical safety service that is so intrinsically linked with the public interest,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “Those of us in the United States are now very fortunate to be working this month under a new contract, and we thank IFATCA for its support of our long and successful struggle to achieve fair collective bargaining rights.”

Added Rinaldi: “We salute IFATCA and our brothers and sisters around the world who go to work each day, often in very difficult and stressful working conditions, and put their training, skills, focus and extreme dedication to the test in ensuring safe skies and safe movements on the ground. The controllers that NATCA represents in the United States possess all of these traits and more and we see examples of their great work daily.

“Just last Friday for example, Brian Buckley, a veteran controller at Philadelphia Tower and TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) with over two decades of experience, assisted a pilot in getting safely to the ground after he reported losing engine power. Whether it’s a routine shift or one marked by aircraft needing extraordinary care and service, controllers in this country and around the world are there to answer the call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.”


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