We Guide You Home

NATCA Represented at ATCA Global Conference in Washington, D.C.

The annual ATCA Global conference took place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Washington, D.C. The event included daily panel discussions, an exhibit hall, and awards presentations. 

NATCA President Rich Santa, NATCA Executive Vice President Andrew LeBovidge, and National Safety Chair John Murdock, each spoke on panels.

During the awards luncheon, NATCA Article 114 Reps. Eric Avila (Houston Center, ZHU) and Adam Rhodes (Houston TRACON, I90) received The Chairperson’s Award for their work with the FAA and industry partners on Terminal Precipitation on the Glass (TPoG) technology.

In the exhibit hall, NATCA members and staff helped manage the booth for the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance, the coalition of labor unions representing air traffic controllers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

NATCA members also had the opportunity to attend the Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Awards Banquet where former FAA COO Teri Bristol received ATCA’s highest honor. 

Read more about each of the panels in which NATCA was represented below: 

FAA Challenges Now & In The Future 

On Nov. 1, NATCA President Rich Santa served on a panel moderated by Kate Hallahan (Principal, Team Hallahan LLC) titled “FAA Challenges Now & In The Future” alongside Linda Daschle (former FAA Acting Administrator), Will Ris (former SVP of Government Affairs, American Airlines), and David Spero (PASS President). 

The panel focused on issues the FAA currently is facing, as well as problems that may present themselves in the future. The panelists offered their insights regarding how to manage these challenges to protect safety and efficiency within the National Airspace System (NAS). 

PHOTO (left to right): Kate Hallahan, Linda Daschle, Will Ris, Rich Santa, and David Spero

Navigating the Skies Safely: Enhancing Aviation Safety for Today and Tomorrow

NATCA National Safety Chair John Murdock spoke at the conference on a panel titled “Navigating the Skies Safely: Enhancing Aviation Safety for Today and Tomorrow.” Also on the panel were FAA Director of Air Traffic Safety Standards Jonathan Gray, FAA Acting Vice President for Safety and Technical Training Tracey Johnson, and United Airlines Vice President of Corporate Safety Sasha Johnson, with Noblis Growth Executive for Transportation Steve McMahon moderating. 

The panel focused on building a just safety culture and the importance of creating an environment that promotes reporting and applies data to discover insights and make changes to increase the safety of the NAS. 

“The most important point of our voluntary reporting systems is that it’s deliberate. Without that we will see the systems erode,” Murdock said. “Trust is such an important underlying factor in our voluntary safety reporting. When we erode trust, we drive reporting underground, and we end up with an unjust culture and that’s not what we want. We have to be purposeful and transparent in demonstrating the value of these programs, so users can see that their reports are making a difference.”

PHOTO (left to right): Sasha Johnson, John Murdock, Jonathan Gray, Tracey Johnson, and Steve McMahon

Global Perspectives: What Challenges Do We See Around the World

NATCA Executive Vice President Andrew LeBovidge spoke as part of a panel at the conference, titled, “Global Perspectives: What Challenges Do We See Around the World.” International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) Executive Vice President Americas Region Trish Gilbert moderated the panel, which also included Arndt Schoenemann from Deutsche Flugsicherung (the air navigation services provider in Germany), Enrique Maurer Solominos from ENAIRE (the air navigation services provider in Spain), and Nick von Schoenberg the president of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA).

The panelists discussed cross border harmonization, dealing with all time high traffic, the effects of international conflict on air traffic, and use of digitalization to increase speed of information flow. The focus was on how air navigation service providers globally have to find commonalities in problems and solutions so that the airspace and operators internationally can receive the benefits of advancements. 

“We have to have a collaborative approach to dealing with challenges collectively,” LeBovidge said. “And it can’t be done on the cheap. You have to devote the resources and personnel to collaboration and change. It is a challenge but it’s a challenge that all parties in this ecosystem can take on to move forward together.”

PHOTO (left to right): Trish Gilbert, Arndt Schoenemann, Nick von Schoenberg, Andrew LeBovidge, and Enrique Maurer Solominos

Jump to top of page