Insider Green

Members of our NATCA family and their colleagues gathered on Sept. 12, 2019, at FAA headquarters in Washington to recognize extraordinary work of the employees of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO).

“You’re some of the most highly skilled dedicated professionals in the world,” FAA ATO COO Teri Bristol said. “During crises we see just how lucky we are to have such skilled and determined professional colleagues.”

“We run the safest and most efficient system in the world,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said. “We are an organization that’s made up of people. It’s very important, while we are technically effective at our jobs, to take time to celebrate and recognize our peers’ exceptional performance. We have a great partnership with our union partners and we are glad to have them here today.”

Attending the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of the FAA employees recognized during the ceremony were leaders of unions and groups representing those team members, including NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert and AFGE Local 200 President Robert Challender.

“The proof is in the numbers. We get over a billion passengers to their destinations safely every year. The scale of it just boggles the mind,” Dickson said. “Today’s winners are a great example of what we can accomplish through perseverance and teamwork.”

Receiving the World-Class Learning and Development Award was the Modularized Training Design Team, including NATCA members Tom Adcock (Miami Center, ZMA), Nathan Rhoades (Memphis Center, ZME), and Samed Rizvi (Potomac Consolidated TRACON, PCT).

NATCA member Roger Koppes of Kenai Flight Service Station, ENA Local (FS1) was presented with the Outstanding Flight Service Specialist Award.

The Outstanding Flight Service Facility Award was given to Fairbanks Flight Service (FS2). The Outstanding Air Traffic Facility Awards recognized Andrews AFB ATCT (ADW) (Levels 4-6), Seattle ATCT (SEA) (Levels 7-9), and Kansas City Center (ZKC) (Levels 10-12).

Anchorage ATCT (ANC) NATCA member Theodore Jouflas received the Outstanding Controller Award for his response during the 7.0 earthquake in which ANC was evacuated.

Members who worked to successfully consolidate Flint Bishop ATCT (FNT), Saginaw Tri-City ATCT (MBS), Grand Rapids ATCT (GRR), Muskegon ATCT (MKG), and Lansing ATCT (LAN) terminal radar approach control facilities (TRACONs) into Kalamazoo (AZO) — including Sec. 804 Lead Jim Van Zee (GRR) and co-leads Scott Robillard (Boston TRACON, A90) and Engineering Services Bob Aitken — were honored with the Teamwork Award.