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Planning, Teamwork, and Professionalism Allow Southern Region NATCA Members to Handle Increased Traffic for Masters Golf Tournament

Earlier this month in Augusta, Ga., the Masters golf tournament brought thousands of people to the area, increasing air traffic way above normal as crowds flocked to Augusta National Golf Club. NATCA-represented air traffic controllers, traffic management coordinators, and staff specialists in the Southern Region (NSO) worked together to help their neighboring brothers and sisters to handle the increased traffic.

“This Masters was the busiest, in terms of air traffic, in history,” said Masters Special Event FacRep Amy Sayers (Fort Lauderdale ATCT, FLL).

“During the week of the Masters, we get almost five times the traffic we normally see per week,” Augusta ATCT (AGS) FacRep Jonathan Sampson said. “We had over 7,000 operations that week between AGS and our satellite airports. We implement new procedures with all the surrounding facilities and bring in extra controllers from different facilities to help in the TRACON and tower that week.”

“I am so proud of how we come together and continually show that collaboration works,” NSO Regional Vice President Jim Marinitti said. “This was the epitome of teamwork and professionalism. Thanks to all involved and we look forward to next year.”

Sayers gathered her colleagues for a photo in the tower when she realized all the workers in the tower at one time were women.

“There were several times that there were all women controlling the tower; AGS controllers, BUE Augmenters, OS Augmenters, and a Contract Ramp controller,” Sayers said. “While working clearance, I turned around and noticed that the tower was being controlled by all women. I had to document it because there aren’t many times in this profession that something like that happens.”

Top Right:
Right: top row left to right: Julia Brame (AGS), Joan Vercillo (Contract Ramp controller), Amy Sayers (Special Events FacRep), Megan Carreras (OS Augmenter), Brittany Siroki (OS Augmenter); bottom row: Hailey Beal (AGS).
Bottom Left:
Left Photo left to right: Narciso Torres (BUE Augmenter, Miami ATCT, MIA, FacRep), Ryan Hughes (BUE Augmenter, Charlotte ATCT, CLT).
Middle Photo:
Kathryn Thoma (BUE Augmenter, Birmingham ATCT, BHM).
Bottom Right:
Joshua Oney (BUE Augmenter, Pensacola TRACON, P31).
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