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Feb. 24, 2017 // NATCA Celebrates Engineers Week

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This week is National Engineers Week and NATCA has many reasons to celebrate!

NATCA represents approximately 2,000 engineers and architects in multiple bargaining units who design new ATC facilities, construct or remodel new or existing ATC facilities, and replace aging National Airspace System (NAS) equipment. They evaluate systems and provide technical support to fix problems with NAS equipment. In addition, they analyze radar and communications coverage, correct deficiencies in existing systems, propose changes and upgrades, and present those changes to the agency to secure funding and support.

These employees also determine whether facilities will be replaced or upgraded, develop plans for improvements, and implement upgrades and construction, installation projects, and much more.

“Every day NATCA Region X ATO engineers work behind the scenes to ensure the constant support and upgrades to important NAS systems and infrastructure,” said Mike MacDonald, Region X Vice President. “Only a few people see or understand this equipment, but it is crucial to pilots and air traffic controllers who use it every second of every day.”

In addition, our Aircraft Certification aerospace engineers approve new designs and modifications of aircraft, engines, propellers, and related components. Airports Division Engineers coordinate airport layout, design, improvements, and planning.

NATCA also represents Automation Support engineers whose primary function is to provide operational computer software support and maintenance for en route centers and terminal environments.

“From building and installing radars, landing systems, communication facilities, to approving newly developed airframes and engines, NATCA engineers are proud to support the flying public and help to make the most complex airspace system the safest and most efficient in the world,” MacDonald said. “Join us as we celebrate National Engineers Week!”

Employees in the E&A bargaining unit are assigned to both Technical Operations (Tech Ops), Engineering Services, and the Service Centers (Mission Support) and are located in all nine FAA regional offices, three service centers and many Tech Ops District Offices. Also part of this E&A unit are 200 engineers in Oklahoma City and Atlantic City in the Flight Inspection Services and Operations Support organizations. Flight Inspection Services provides airborne flight inspection of navigational aids and procedures. Operations Support provides field support, maintains the configuration management of systems, and performs modifications of equipment.

Throughout this week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has marked Engineers Week by presenting a special display at its main headquarters building in Washington, D.C. (pictured below). The display includes a large model of the new Las Vegas ATCT and TRACON that NATCA lent to the Agency to display. NATCA engineers recently completed construction of the new facility. The FAA also distributed materials about its engineers and their important responsibilities in the NAS.

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