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(A message to the air traffic controllers represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.)

Brothers and Sisters,

October 20 is annually celebrated as the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller. The date marks the 1961 founding anniversary of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations and reminds all aviation safety professionals of the vision of IFATCA’s founding members.

IFATCA’s goals are to promote safety, efficiency, and regularity in international air navigation; to assist and advise in the development of safe and orderly systems of air traffic control and new procedures and facilities; and to promote and uphold a high standard of knowledge and professional efficiency among air traffic controllers. These goals are reflected in NATCA’s passion for safety and vision to advance the status, professionalism, and working conditions of all air traffic controllers.

International Day of the Air Traffic Controller celebrates the men and women around the world who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to accomplish those goals. On any given day, thousands of flights are safely guided through the National Airspace System and abroad, with passengers worrying more about whether their bag will arrive than if their safety is ever compromised.

The first working group met in the Netherlands on October 19-20, 1961, to prepare the foundations for what we now know as IFATCA. Several national organizations expressed interest in joining the group. The workgroup soon grew from a representative body of 12 to a worldwide federation that includes the collective voice of aviation professionals from more than 130 countries.

October 20 is a day to celebrate your profession and dedication to safety with your brothers and sisters at home and overseas. Our voices are stronger when we work together. NATCA and IFATCA work with aviation labor organizations, national and international aviation authorities, and institutions concerned with air navigation around the world. Collectively, these aviation voices sponsor and support the passage of legislation and regulations, which will increase and protect the working conditions of all air traffic controllers and other aviation safety-related employees.

Our members are some of the hardest working professionals in the world who work to display honesty, tenacity, leadership by example, hard work, integrity, loyalty to the profession, open communication, and the collective spirit of our Union. Help NATCA celebrate you today and share the hard work that you all do to make air traffic safe with your friends and family.

In proud solidarity,

Paul Rinaldi
NATCA President

Trish Gilbert
NATCA Executive Vice President