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WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) released the following statement today from its President Paul Rinaldi on the incident Friday night involving a Horizon Air passenger aircraft:

“NATCA recognizes the great work of all of the air traffic controllers and other Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees at several Seattle-area FAA facilities that handled this incident. It was an incredible team effort marked by a shared commitment to ensuring the safety of all other aircraft in the vicinity. We also commend the military personnel and first responders involved for their difficult and important work.
 
“We especially acknowledge the contributions of the controller who worked this aircraft and communicated with the individual at the controls. This controller works at Seattle Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), an FAA facility located in Burien, Wash., just west of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The recordings of the incident display his exceptional professionalism and his calm and poised dedication to the task at hand that is a hallmark of our air traffic controller workforce nationwide. 
 
"All of our NATCA-represented aviation safety professionals are highly skilled and trained to handle these types of emergency situations. Safety is their passion and their focus at all times.

“We are saddened by the loss of a life in this incident, while being thankful that there were no other fatalities or injuries. We extend our condolences to this individual’s family.

“NATCA is working with the FAA and cooperating with all ongoing investigations from all agencies."

MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs, dchurch@natcadc.org or 301-346-8245.

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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, four Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 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.