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NATCA Updates and Expands Offering of Pilot-Controller Communications Materials

Aviation safety is at the core of who we are and is what drives our members each and every day. NATCA believes in promoting and enhancing safety through education, communication and collaboration together with every sector of the aviation industry. Our message to pilots is whether you’re considering learning to fly, a student pilot or a certified pilot, we’re here for you.

With pandemic restrictions on air shows and gatherings easing, NATCA is anxious to resume and grow our outreach efforts to pilots nationwide. From the largest events such as next month’s EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to local meetings at airports, we strive to provide education and information to all pilots on an array of safety issues.

One handout we offer at various events are our 13 pilot-controller communications information cards. The cards address airport procedures, airspace, clearances, communicating with ATC, communications-phrases to know, control tower ops, special VFR, takeoffs/landings, uncontrolled airports, VFR flight following, VFR on top, weather, and wrong surface operations. The cards are the size of a pilot kneeboard so that they can easily be referenced during flight and fit well in a flight bag.

We also have updated our pilot-controller communications webpage, which can be found here. The webpage includes electronic copies of the new pilot-controller cards, which are suitable for downloading.

Portland, Ore., ATCT (PDX) member Richard Kennington, who has helped lead NATCA’s pilot outreach for several years, says the more pilot outreach he and his fellow members did, the more they recognized a need for consistent information for newer pilots. The cards reflect that renewed commitment to improving and expanding the offering of information.

“We put in hours pouring over the content to include that would help pilots get over their fear of using ATC services and make them successful,” Kennington said. “Wherever we have gone, pilots clean us out of all our inventory which is a good problem to have. They recognize that these cards are a great resource, especially for new or lower time pilots.”

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