NATCA President Paul Rinaldi
NATCA President Paul Rinaldi welcomed a crowd of more than 1,500 to #NATCACFS2019 on Sept. 16. He talked about CFS being the place where NATCA takes a stand for safety because aviation safety is the cornerstone for everything its members do as aviation safety professionals. “The commitment we have to aviation safety is second to none,” said Rinaldi.
NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert
NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert closed Day 1 of #NATCACFS2019 with an impassioned speech supporting all members who are in need of assistance and outlining an array of Union-provided resources that offer everything from medical advice to suicide prevention awareness. “I have often said that air traffic control is not a job. It’s a passion,” Gilbert said. “It is who I am, how I identify myself, even though while serving in my current role as NATCA’s Executive Vice President I have not moved airplanes in 10 years. I do miss working directly in the profession I love. But sometimes, things take us away from it – whether we want them to or not. Sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently.”
Capt. Joe DePete, President, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l.
NATCA and the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) have a long history of collaboration and solidarity that has advanced the lives and professions of the members of our two great unions. #NATCACFS2019 was proud to welcome ALPA President Capt. Joe DePete as a keynote speaker. DePete expressed support for NATCA’s “Every Day Is a Training Day” program and spoke about ALPA’s “Trained for Life” training initiative.
Nick Calio, President and CEO, Airlines for America
NATCA was pleased to bring Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nick Calio to the #NATCACFS2019 stage on Sept. 18, 2019. A4A advocates for America’s airlines as models of safety, customer service and environmental responsibility and as the indispensable network that drives nearly $1.5 trillion in U.S. economic activity and 10 million U.S. jobs. A4A spoke out against the 35-day government shutdown earlier this year and co-signed an industry letter to President Trump and Congressional leaders urging an end to the shutdown.
Every Day is a Training Day
The first panel of #NATCACFS2019 highlighted the important new initiative demonstrating NATCA’s commitment to an ongoing training culture: “Every Day is a Training Day.” NATCA National Training Rep Tom Adcock and NATCA Safety Committee Chair Steve Hansen moderated the panel, which invited panelists to discuss ongoing, effective learning and its importance to success and safety. Joining the panel were International Association of Fire Fighters Assistant General President for Health, Safety and Medicine Patrick Morrison; ALPA Human Factors and Training Group Chairman Captain Frank Cheeseman; Retired MLB Player Ron Kittle, and Former Blue Angels Pilot John Allison.
The Impact of Weather on the Operation
In the panel “The Impact of Weather on the Operation” at #NATCACFS2019, moderators NATCA Director of Safety and Technology Jim Ullmann & FAA ATO Director of Safety Tony Schneider led discussion with panelists about weather as one of the top safety issues in the National Airspace System (NAS). Joining the discussion were NATCA Air Traffic Control System Command Center (DCC) Traffic Management Specialist Jessica Strahley, NATCA Washington Center (ZDC) Traffic Management Coordinator Ben Dengler, NATCA ATSAP ERC Rep Dave Cook, New York-JFK ATCT (JFK) FacRep Gerald Quaye, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 357 ASAP Representative Rachel Rae, and American Airlines Dispatcher Mike Sterenchuk.
NATCA Reloaded Committee Chair Dawn Johnson and NATCA Recurrent Training Representative Richard Kennington moderated the #NATCACFS2019 Pilot/Controller Communications panel — which remains one of the most highly anticipated discussions at CFS year after year. This year’s panelists were: Brandon Johnson, Northwest Mountain Region Safety Representative, NATCA; John Murdock, National Procedures Representative, NATCA; Erin Phelps, Central Service Area ATSAP ERC Analyst, NATCA; Don Dobias, ALPA; Matthew Cain, Safety Chair SWAPA; Paul Flynn, NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP).
ATC Training – Excellence Has Got to be the Norm, Not the Deviation
The #NATCACFS2019 panel “ATC Training: Excellence has got to be the Norm, not the Deviation,” moderated by NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert & FAA ATO Deputy COO Tim Arel, focused on training as the lifeblood of the air traffic control profession and NATCA taking leadership role in changing how we think about training and the importance of it. The panel welcomed panelists from across the National Airspace System: Tom Adcock, National Training Representative, NATCA; Jeffrey Vincent, VP of Air Traffic Services, ATO; Glen Martin, VP of Safety and Technical Training, ATO; Don Moran, National Supcom Chair, ATO; Brian Shallenberger, ZDC Facility Representative, NATCA; Carl Adams, ZDC Air Traffic Manager, ATO.
Surface Safety – Don’t Let That Airport Mislead You
Runway safety is a significant challenge and a top priority for everyone in aviation. To address this always-present risk, a panel on “Surface Safety: Don’t let that Airport Mislead you” at #NATCACFS2019 featured a discussion with NATCA National Runway Safety Rep Bridget Singratanakul (Gee), ALPA Aviation Safety Chairman Captain Steve Jangelis, FAA ATO Runway Safety Manager Jim Fee, and Western Service Area, ATO, Runway Safety Team Manager Emily Banuelos.
CATCA President & CEO Peter Duffey and David Grizzle of Dazzle Partners, LLC, moderated a panel on international collaboration at #NATCACFS2019. Panelists Prospect ATCOs’ Branch Chair Paul Winstanley, NZALPA ATC Director Kelvin Vercoe, NAVCANADA Executive Vice President Service Delivery Rudy Kellar, Aireon Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering Vincent Capezzuto, Raytheon Executive Technical Director Rachel Jackson, and Leidos Senior VP of Operations Fran Hill discussed how partnerships strengthen ties and establish a collective voice to speak on a range of subjects. Leaders of aviation safety unions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, and New Zealand launched the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance at the World ATM in Madrid, Spain, in March 2018. The members of the alliance are unions who represent aviation safety professionals and advocate for their status and working conditions. The member unions work together to meet both individual and shared challenges, raise important safety issues to a global platform, and communicate with one another in a spirit of solidarity and unity. Learn more about the Alliance: www.atcalliance.world/
Fireside Chat: FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and NATCA President Paul Rinaldi
Excellence in Training Award: Tom Adcock (Miami Center)
The Excellence in Training Award was created this year and awarded first at CFS to Tom Adcock, Miami Center (ZMA). “I want to thank Paul and Trish for trusting me to do this job seven years ago,” he said. “I want to thank many of the collaborative partners; thank you to the SMEs and the CADREs – you all have made the work easier.”
Awards Luncheon Presentations
On Day 2 of #NATCACFS2019, several awards were presented to NATCA members, including: NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF) Cathy Meachum Volunteer of the Year Award; Elena Nash Community Volunteer of the Year Award; OSHA Helping Hearts Award; Disaster Response Committee Award; Raytheon’s 2019 Air Traffic Controller of the Year Award; NATCA National Professionalism Award; Dale Wright Award for Distinguished, Professional and Exceptional Career Service to NATCA and the National Airspace System; Steve Hansen Safety Advocate Award.
The Beacon of NATCA Award: Alaskan Region Members
The Beacon of NATCA Award is given to a facility that rises above and handles an emergency or disaster situation with grace. No amount of planning, training or preparation can prevent a disaster event. But when it occurs, whether it is natural or man-made, NATCA members answer the call. Aviation safety professionals are among the first to take direct action in response to a disaster, working with first responders. They attend to the immediate danger and implement longer-term strategies to mitigate damage. The Beacon of NATCA Award was created to recognize those facilities that go above and beyond to perform the essential and difficult task of disaster response. The recipients of this award are the beacon that guides us home and the heroes that rise above the chaos. At #NATCACFS2019 Alaskan Region members were honored for their exemplary professionalism displayed during during an earthquake in 2018.
Special Award Presented by American Airlines to NATCA Dallas-Area Local Facilities
American Airlines Award, presented to NATCA members on Sept. 18, 2019 at #NATCACFS2019: This past summer, American Airlines ordered 50 new planes to increase up to 100 flights and reduce taxi times by two minutes, including operation initiatives. American Airlines approached Dallas/Fort Worth ATCT (DFW), Dallas/Fort Worth TRACON (D10), and Fort Worth Center (ZFW) members to help the company accomplish its goals at its airports. “The controllers have a willingness to take on challenges and make them into opportunities,” said American Airlines Senior Vice President for Integrated Operations David Seymour. “Thank you for your partnership in helping make DFW the third-busiest airport in the world.”
James Oberstar Sentinel of Safety Award: Tom Costello, NBC News
NBC News reporter Tom Costello was presented with the James Oberstar Sentinel of Safety Award at #NATCACFS2019 on Sept. 18, 2019. NATCA created the Sentinel of Safety Award as a way to honor those outside NATCA who have displayed outstanding achievement in the advancement of aviation safety. In 2014, at our Biennial Convention in Minneapolis, NATCA proudly renamed the award to honor Congressman Oberstar, who had died earlier that year. Congressman Oberstar was a tireless advocate for aviation, air traffic control, and NATCA during his time in Congress and as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Tom’s quarter century of national and international reporting has earned numerous awards including national and regional Emmy awards, and multiple Edward R. Murrow reporting honors. And today, we are very excited to present the James Oberstar Sentinel of Safety Award to Tom.
Tom has covered aviation for the past 14 years, including the 2009 Miracle on the Hudson, last year’s fatal engine explosion onboard a Southwest Airlines flight, and the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes and subsequent MAX fleet grounding. One of his first stories in 2005 when he moved to the NBC News Washington Bureau was about the first winners of NATCA’s Archie League Medal of Safety Awards. Tom has also covered a wide array of stories across the beats of transportation, space exploration, cybersecurity, and economics.
In 2017, his coverage of deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville earned NBC News an Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Tom’s reports appear across all NBC News platforms, including online, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, and CNBC. In fact, he was on duty as CNBC’s Nasdaq Editor in Manhattan on 9/11. Before joining NBC News in 2004, Tom spent six years at KUSA-TV in Denver, and two years at KVIA-TV in El Paso, TX.
Archie League Medal of Safety Awards and Region X Commitment to Safety Award
Opening Remarks, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and FAA ATO COO Teri Bristol
Region X Commitment to Safety Award
Great Lakes Region (ZID)
Great Lakes Region (ZMP)
New England Region (PVD)
New England Region (ZBW)
Northwest Mountain Region
Western Pacific Region