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Aug. 12, 2016 // Veteran NATCAvist’s Retirement Plans? Nothing – And He’s Looking Forward to That!

Former NNM Regional Vice President Jim Ullmann (left) and former NNM Regional Legislative Representative Denise Spencer present Todd Knowles (center) with the Northwest Mountain Regional Legislative Activism Award at NATCA in Washington 2013.

Dedicated NATCAvist, local representative, and 30-year veteran air traffic controller, Todd Knowles of Great Falls, Mont. (GTF), retired last week. During his distinguished career, Knowles served as the facility legislative representative from 2008 until his retirement. He also served as the local’s secretary from 2007-2009, and as the local’s treasurer from 2007-2014.

With Knowles’ permission, we are excited to share the humorous retirement message, below, that he sent to his friends and family.

“Well, this is it. After 30 years, my career as an air traffic controller has officially come to an end. A lot of non-ATC people have asked me what I’m going to do now. Nothing.

“I loved my job. I can’t imagine doing anything else. However, 30 years of working nights, weekends, holidays (including 22 Christmases), missing out on a lot of my kids’ events and activities, and not having a normal social life have taken its toll.

“Reflecting on the last 30 years, I’ve discovered some things about myself that I probably knew all along, but are more clear now. After a day making numerous decisions, which involve metal tubes carrying dozens of people traveling at 400 miles an hour, the last thing I want to do is to choose where I want to go to dinner. When driving in traffic, I look at the lanes several blocks away to see where there is a ‘gap’ I can fit into.

“It’s been a blast, but now it’s time to sit back and enjoy. Enjoy not having to look at my schedule to see if we can go to a show or out to dinner with friends. Enjoy spending time with my granddaughter. Enjoy jumping on my bike or in my kayak without worrying about getting a call for an overtime shift. Enjoy having a beer (or six) without worrying about the eight-hour rule. Enjoy life.

“Don’t worry, I won’t be bored in retirement. I’ll be enjoying.”

NATCA wishes you the best in a relaxing retirement!

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