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July 7, 2017 // Turn Off Tune In: Big Thanks to Distraction-Free Controllers


In a new video, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol express their gratitude to air traffic controllers and managers who’ve committed themselves to keeping distractions out of their workplaces — towers, TRACONs, and centers.

Since its launch, the joint FAA-NATCA campaign Turn Off Tune In (TOTI) has rapidly spread across the country to facilities large and small. Controllers and managers have taken a strong stance to keep cellphones out of control rooms. Many facilities have installed phone charging stations outside control rooms and hold regular discussions on the topic to keep the ball rolling in the right direction.

“Your commitment to eliminating distractions from the operation helps us maintain the safest, most efficient airspace system in the world,” Bristol says in the video. “We thank you for your efforts, and we’re using this opportunity to remind each of us that distractions are a continuing challenge.”

Bristol added that the FAA and NATCA’s commitment to keeping distractions out of the workplace must remain a high priority.

Rinaldi pointed out that many people are well aware that electronic distractions, such as texting while driving, are dangerous and life threatening. Controllers bring the same mindset to the control room. TOTI educates controllers that hazards create distractions, how distractions negatively impact the brain, and why controllers cannot perform their jobs effectively or ensure the safety of the flying public when distracted.

“Many of you have demonstrated personal leadership on this issue by mentoring others about the dangers posed by distractions — especially electronic distractions in the workforce,” Rinaldi said. “It is our responsibility to educate our new controllers as we continue to maintain our commitment and demonstrate leadership on this important issue.”

This story has been published jointly by the FAA and NATCA. Learn more about how controllers and managers are eliminating distractions by visiting the Turn Off Tune In website.

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