Two New Women in Aviation Scholarships Honor NATCA EVP Trish Gilbert, FedEx's Gina Adams


The American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) announced the creation of two new permanently-endowed scholarships in honor of NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert and FedEx Corporate Vice President of Government Affairs Gina Adams. AAAE honored Gilbert and Adams at the 2018 Women in Aviation Scholarship Luncheon on May 2 in Washington, D.C.

“In this male-dominated profession, Trish has propelled through all the inherited institutional boundaries and has excelled at everything she tries to do,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “No task is too difficult, no challenge too daunting, for Trish to take the lead on. She has elevated our Union to the highest level and enhanced the safety of the National Airspace System by always challenging the status quo. I personally believe there’s nothing she can’t do. I’m proud and honored to work alongside of Trish. She is so richly deserving of this honor.”

“Trish is a true professional, and a role model of all, but especially women,” Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Organization COO Teri Bristol said. “As a colleague, I have the highest respect for Trish. As a woman, I admire deeply what she has achieved, what she stands for, and how she does it all with such grace and dignity.”

“By honoring me you are honoring NATCA,” Gilbert said. “I am so proud of NATCA, the professions we represent, the safety policies and initiatives we partner on, the technology we test and deploy, the public we serve and keep safe, and the role we play in the economic engine that is the US national airspace system. Having one of the two permanently endowed scholarships named in my honor is really hard to believe. But I know that scholarship with my name on it is synonymous to naming it after the profession I love, and the Union that I love even more, NATCA.

“These scholarships demonstrate our commitment to seeing more women work in our beloved aviation professions where they can unlock their potential and pursue their dreams in careers in aviation. I hope we can continue to empower women to join aviation professions, to get involved, to take on leadership roles, inspire future generations, and move our industries forward.”

Each of the new scholarships will provide a $5,000 annual award to a qualifying female student in an accredited aviation program. Since 1989, the AAAE Foundation has provided nearly $5 million in scholarships to more than 2,900 students. 

(Pictured at top, from left to right: NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert, and AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli.)

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Daytona Beach air traffic controllers talk down pilot after oil blocks windshield


NATCA members Ruben Lopez (above left) and Tim Martin (above right) at Daytona Beach Tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control (DAB) worked together to help an alarmed 20-year-old Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student pilot land safely after the airplane's windshield became covered in oil.

Wrote Frank Fernandez in the Daytona Beach News-Journal on May 5: 

The pilot’s concerns would only grow as he started smelling fumes, and worried if his plane’s propeller will keep spinning.

“Sir, I do believe this is oil. If you can get me down on the ground as soon as possible that would be great. Thank you,” Riddle 632 says on an audio recording of the communications.

The drama that unfolded would last about 7½ minutes on April 26, but it will likely endure a lifetime in the memories of the student flying blind and the Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers who worked together to guide him to a safe landing. 

Read story here.

NATCA YouTube Channel

Podcast 48 - Ask an Air Traffic Controller
Podcast 48 - Ask an Air Traffic Controller

Following our 'Ask the Captain' and 'Ask a Flight Attendant' episodes, we wanted to pose your questions to an active air traffic controller. So in this episode, San Juan Tower controller Kyrandgel Rio...

Air Traffic Control Career:
Air Traffic Control Career: "I Love My Job"

A video produced by FAA Communications in collaboration with NATCA.

Fort Wayne's NBC: Salute to Fort Wayne Air Traffic Controller Eric Vanstrom
Fort Wayne's NBC: Salute to Fort Wayne Air Traffic Controller Eric Vanstrom

NATCA Great Lakes Archie League Medal of Safety Award. Aired on April 25, 2017.

CNN HLN Atlanta TRACON Archie League Awards
CNN HLN Atlanta TRACON Archie League Awards

Archie League Award-winning save story and interview, with A80 NATCA member Mason Braddock and pilot Cathy Lewan (3/24/17).

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Biennial Convention


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The 17th Biennial Convention was held in Philadelphia, April 17-20, 2018. More Information. The 18th Biennial Convention will be held in Houston, May 27-29, 2020.

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