The solidarity event for Boise ATCT (BOI) members last month was fun, informative, and a very well-timed success, with local, regional, and national leadership in town.
“We have a number of new NATCA members at Boise, so it’s hard sometimes to convey just what the Union has done for their profession as an air traffic controller,” BOI FacRep Thomas West said. “Having Paul (Rinaldi) and Trish (Gilbert) in town at a local Boise event made our membership see that the Union really does care about us as a local, even though we are a smaller facility in one of the smallest states.”
Boise is growing at a rapid pace, both in population and traffic volume, so it has been valuable for BOI members to know that NATCA is there for them, as they face the growing pains that are associated with the increased traffic volume, West stated.
Rinaldi updated BOI members about the hardships to NATCA members and the challenges to the safety of the National Airspace System caused by the shutdown. He discussed legislative issues such as H.R. 1108, the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019.
“With the recent shutdown, the members at Boise are seeing more than ever the importance for air traffic controllers being represented on a national level when it comes to politics and in Washington,” West said. “A lot of our members are not very active when it comes to the political side of things. But through the efforts of BOI Vice President and Legislative Rep Clay McCarty, the membership is definitely taking notice of what NATCA has been fighting for in D.C. and that the politics of Washington, D.C., can and does affect their lives in small town Boise, Idaho.”
One BOI member approached West and McCarty after listening to Rinaldi speak and said that he had never really understood what NATCA did on a national level until that meeting.
“After hearing Paul speak about the efforts that the Union has made to protect the funding for the FAA, he truly understands now why he is part of the Union,” West said.