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NATCA Commends the FAA’s Mental Health and Aviation Medical Clearances Aviation Rulemaking Committee and Encourages the Agency to Adopt Its Recommendations

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) thanks Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Whitaker and commends the work of the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) on Mental Health and Aviation Medical Clearances. Today, this ARC issued its report with 24 recommended revisions to current reporting requirements, including updating the approach used by the Agency to address specific medical conditions related to uncomplicated depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This report recommends that the FAA establish a non-punitive pathway for reporting previously undisclosed mental health conditions and streamline the overall review process, to ensure it is evidence-based and consistent with safety management system tenets. Our Union encourages the FAA to adopt these recommendations.

NATCA Executive Vice President Andrew LeBovidge represented NATCA on this ARC. The FAA uses aviation rulemaking committees when it seeks advice and recommendations from industry and the public on issues that could result in policy or regulatory changes. Our Union looks forward to working with the FAA on the implementation work that follows this report.

About the work of this ARC, LeBovidge stated “NATCA is honored to have participated in this very important endeavor. The implementation of the ARC’s recommendations will fundamentally change the FAA’s approach to mental health and will greatly benefit the dedicated aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents. We must overcome barriers – including fear, lack of trust, financial uncertainty, and cumbersome processes – that hinder individuals from seeking care for mental health issues. This work is long overdue, and we are excited to begin the next phase to see these recommendations come to fruition.”

To read the full report, click here.

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MORE INFORMATION: Galen Munroe, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; (202) 439-7427, [email protected].

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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