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NATCA Celebrates Engineers Week - (2/17/2010)

CONTACT:  Alex Caldwell, 202-997-7741, acaldwell@natcadc.org; Doug Church, 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org

WASHINGTON – In honor of its aviation engineers and safety professionals, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association is celebrating Engineers Week.

NATCA represents approximately 1,900 engineers in four different and distinct bargaining units. They provide an invaluable service to the flying public. About 1,300 of these employees make up NATCA’s largest group of engineers, the Engineers and Architects bargaining unit – responsible for the design, construction and remodeling of air traffic control facilities and equipment as well as the integration of new systems into the operational National Airspace System (NAS).  

Also included in this group are the Safety and Operations Support Group, whose engineers are responsible for developing modifications and maintenance procedures for NAS equipment, providing national-level field support and maintaining the configuration management of the NAS. One additional group is called Aviation System Standards. These engineers provide modification and maintenance instructions for the fleet of flight inspection aircraft.

Approximately 500 other engineers work in the Aircraft Certification unit. These professionals are tasked with not only certifying aircraft but also investigating accidents in order to ensure the safety of all certified aircraft in service. An additional 118 employees make up the Airports engineers program that is responsible for a wide array of tasks including the approval of airport improvements, the implementation of new programs and the oversight of development projects. There are also a small number of engineers located in our En Route and Terminal Automation bargaining unit. The primary function of these engineers is to provide operational computer software support and maintenance for en route centers and terminal environments.

Said NATCA Regional Vice President Mike MacDonald, who represents most of the organization’s non-air traffic controller bargaining units, called “Region X”: “Like air traffic controllers, our engineer members are a large part of the behind-the-scenes work in the National Airspace System that keeps the flying public safe. From aircraft inspection and certification to runway improvements and construction oversight, NATCA’s engineering members are a vital part of what makes the system tick. I thank NATCA for welcoming us into its family and standing with us over the years.”

Said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi: “Having the engineers responsible for the safety of the aviation system as part of our union is only natural as air traffic controllers already work together with them in the FAA to uphold the safety of the NAS. Now, as members of the same union family, we also work together to ensure that our members are treated fairly and respected for the contributions they make. I thank our engineer members and look forward to another year of working together to keep the flying public safe.”

For more information: http://www.eweek.org; http://www.natcaregionx.org

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