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NATCA Mourns Passing of Legendary Alaska Congressman Don Young

WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Rich Santa issued this statement following the passing of Alaska Congressman Don Young, the longest-serving Republican member in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives and a former chair of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee:

“Congressman Young was as unique of a personality and as strong of a leader as we have ever known in Congress. He was known for his passionate defense of Alaskan interests and that included aviation, which is so crucial to connecting the state’s citizens and economy. Alaska, of course, also has a thriving international airport in Anchorage that grew into one of the world’s busiest and most important cargo hubs during Congressman Young’s terms in office.

“We valued our close relationship with Congressman Young. He was a longtime supporter of NATCA and our members. He had great respect for the men and women we represent who keep the National Airspace System safe and efficient, particularly in Alaska. He was thrilled to host our members during annual visits to his Capitol Hill office to talk about aviation issues, but the pleasure was always ours.

“We extend our condolences to Congressman Young’s wife, Anne, and his family.”

BELOW: Congressman Young (left) meets with NATCA National Legislative Committee Alaskan Region Rep Rob Kindred (center, Anchorage Center, ZAN), Alternate Alaskan Region Rep Aaron Novak (second from right, Anchorage TRACON, A11), and retired controller Richard Fagg (far right) during a visit to the Congressman’s Capitol Hill office in May 2019.

CONTACT: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs, 301-346-8245.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 5 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 123 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

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