April 28, 2017 // Legislative Efforts Across the Country
Los Angeles Center Facility Area Rep James Decker (right) and member Geoff Klein (left) met with Congressman Steve Knight, R-Calif.-25, last week to talk about air traffic control and the National Airspace System (NAS).
Charleston ATCT (CRW) FacRep and Facility Legislative Rep Brent Garrett and Huntington ATCT (HTS) Vice President Zach Rinder recently met with Congressman Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va.-3, to talk about the challenges facing the NAS.
Los Angeles Center’s (ZLA) legislative efforts have been in full swing this week. ZLA FacRep Nate Pair, ZLA Vice President Martin Ramirez, Los Angeles Tower Vice President Mike Foote, ZLA controller Carlyann L. Blackwell, ZLA Facility Legislative Rep Guy Blackwell, and ZLA controller Patrick J. Sullivan gave a Congressional tour at the facility on Tuesday, April 25, to Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif.-40, followed by an event at Santa Anita later in the week.
Southern Region Engineer Chris Lawrence, CRW FacRep and Facility Legislative Coordinator Brent Garrett, Wilmington ATCT controller Wes Jefferson, and CRW controller Ben Trainor met with Congressman Alex Mooney, R-W. Va.-2, last week. Below, read a write-up of the visit from Garrett.
“We met with a few of Congressman Mooney’s staff members from the Charleston and Martinsburg offices. Congressman Mooney came in. We took a tour of the tower where we took a few photos and discussed various things about CRW.
“After we left the tower, we walked to the TRACON and showed off our new STARS Elite equipment. We displayed all of the functions our radar can do and all of the coverage we now have due to the new scopes. The congressman talked to several controllers and was very engaged with the workforce. He was especially interested in our radar and the surrounding airports.
Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind.-9, visited Indianapolis Center (ZID). Hollingsworth was greeted by Mike Orr, FacRep Jim Larson, ATM Randy Smith, and ZID controllers Chris Wampler and Darren Groce (constituents of the congressman).
Orr described the visit, “The tour first began with the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) where we were met by TMU controller Chad Wendt who also lives in the congressman’s district. Chad explained the ins and outs of TMU to the congressman and was able to answer many of his questions. While explaining metering and technology, Wampler was able to explain Data Communications to the congressman because he is personally involved in its development. He also informed Congressman Hollingsworth that he was supposed to be at the Tech Center working on it but all of the travel has been canceled in preparation for a potential government shutdown. This led to a discussion on how unstable funding causes delays in programs and uncertainty in the workforce and why that is important to our operations.
“From there we visited two areas in the center (3 and 4). These are the areas that Wampler and Groce work, respectively. Here Congressman Hollingsworth and his staff got a good idea of how the day in the life of an air traffic controller goes.
“From there, we went into the DYSIM (training lab) where ZID controller Bob Obma showed Congressman Hollingsworth what we can do in lab. Obma then booted up a training scenario for the congressman to run through. Wampler sat with him and walked him through the problem. He stated that doing this for more than two hours straight would be incredibly taxing.
“After that, we headed back to the main lobby and the congressman asked us about our issues, to which we once again explained the need for stable funding. He said he understood the need for stable funding and then he and his staff expressed appreciation for what we do. He also expressed interest in seeing the tower at another date in the future.”
Pictured from left to right: Orr, Larson, Wampler, Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, Smith, and Groce.