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April 11, 2014 // Facility Spotlight: New York Center

There are 251 NATCA members working at New York Center (ZNY), a level 12 facility that was commissioned on July 21, 1963.

ZNY was the world’s first ARTCC and controls 3.27 million square miles of airspace. Of that airspace, 17,000 square miles are mainland airspace, and the remaining 3.25 million square miles are oceanic airspace. Handling 2.8 million annual operations, ZNY services six of the top 20 busiest towers and three of the top 15 busiest Terminal Radar Approach Controls (TRACONs) in what is regarded as the most complex airspace in the United States. ZNY is one of the busiest facilities in the world with regards to volume of traffic versus volume of airspace.

The domestic airspace of ZNY overlies parts of three states, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It abuts Boston ARTCC (ZBW) to the north, Cleveland ARTCC (ZOB) to the west, Washington ARTCC (ZDC) to the south, and overlies the New York TRACON (N90). The facility’s Oceanic airspace overlies the Atlantic Ocean.

ZNY has six areas of specialization subdivided into 31 domestic and 13 Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP)/Oceanic sectors. Approximately 75 percent of the domestic airspace is now single-site adapted, which allows for the use of terminal separation standards (three nautical miles) where integrated.

ZNY air traffic controllers guide commercial, general aviation and military aircraft. A large volume of the facility’s air traffic is international flights (foreign aircraft carriers).

Unique to working at this Center is its close proximity to several major metropolitan airports, its oceanic operations across the North Atlantic, including in Bermuda and the Caribbean area, and the severe weather season the area experiences from mid- April through September. ZNY NATCA Facility Representative Julio Henriques says severe weather is most demanding on controllers with aircraft deviations and weather shutting down routes with little notice.

Henriques says the large NATCA local hosts several solidarity events a year, including a holiday party, an annual NATCA beach party on Fire Island, as well as attending baseball games and other sporting events together.

Henriques is proud of his local and says ZNY is about as NATCA as you can get.

“I am honored to serve as ZNY FacRep,” says Henriques. “I’m also honored to have an outstanding local E-Board including the best Vice President John Higgins, who without, I couldn’t have served NATCA Nationally on ERAM.”