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Paul Rinaldi & Trish Gilbert Final Team Update: A Farewell to the Greatest Honor of Our Lives

Brothers and Sisters:

It’s hard to say goodbye, albeit time, to what has been the greatest honor of our lives. We have been blessed to work with such an accomplished, committed, and high-quality membership and staff at NATCA; privileged to represent the dedicated professionals that keep the aviation system safely moving before the employer, industry, Congress, labor, other government agencies, and the public; and fortunate to have developed and cultivated relationships across industry, in the U.S. and internationally, that will endure. 

NATCA’s solidarity, unity, and collective spirit has seen this Union through good and bad, each time learning, adjusting, and gaining strength to move from good to great. Together, we withstood forces that sought to divide us and generated the momentum to fuel the fire in our bellies to engage the membership and we are stronger and more united for it. Always remember, we can achieve so much more as a collective than we ever could as individuals. NATCA has proven that to be true time and time again. That is what makes our Union so successful.  

It can be said that we did not sit idly by and take the path of least resistance. This video (click here, or on the image below) is but a glimpse of the 12 years we served as NATCA president and executive vice president.

As we transition the leadership of our beloved Union to the very capable hands of Rich Santa and Andrew LeBovidge, we are confident that their stalwart support for NATCA members will drive the organization to new heights. They understand the importance of union activism, front-line involvement, and sacrifice for the betterment of our membership. So, their unrelenting pursuit of what is right and their dogged determination as Union advocates will ensure many more successes for our members and the aviation system they safeguard.

Integral to NATCA’s success has always been the membership’s involvement, unity, and commitment. The unfortunate challenges we face with the resurgence of COVID, the need to improve staffing and training, FAA funding uncertainty (as we approach another Sept. 30 funding deadline), aging infrastructure, and integrating emerging technologies must be dealt with by committing to each other to advance the status, professionalism, and working conditions of our membership. That does not change, whatever your place in this Union, past or present. The dedicated FacRep, the legislative activist, the safety advocate, a mentor to the new members, an organizer, a skilled negotiator, or a future RVP or president: you are part of the NATCA family committed to something more important than yourself. The true test of a strong, cohesive NATCA is the zeal with which we will collectively continue to move our organization forward.

Stay strong, stay united, and thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and given so much to advance our Union, our professions, and the National Airspace System. 

In solidarity, 

Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA EVP
2009-2021

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