CONTACT: Sarah Dunn, 315-796-1560
WASHINGTON - Two St. Louis Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) air traffic controllers guided to safety the Navy pilot of an F18, who was caught in bad weather, missed the approach to two airports and had low fuel. A Fort Worth Center air traffic controller’s repeated communication saved the life of a pilot who didn’t know he was experiencing hypoxia. A Tampa Tower/TRACON air traffic controller guided to a safe landing a pilot who lost control of his aircraft shortly after takeoff.
These remarkable flight assists, and six others from around the country were honored last night at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s (NATCA) ninth annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards banquet. Named for the first air traffic controller, the NATCA Archie League Awards honor the top skill, dedication and professionalism that NATCA members demonstrated in 2012 in the pursuit to save lives in emergency situations.
“These assists are the finest examples of air traffic control professionalism and skill,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “They exemplify the work that’s done in every facility, every single day, keeping the world’s most complex aviation system at its safest.”
“I am proud to honor these controllers for their remarkable work,” said NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert. “These men and women each displayed the composure, resourcefulness and quick thinking that defines our profession, and that saves lives.”
The honorees are:
Alaskan Region: Ryan Williams, Anchorage Center (ZAN)
Central Region: Kevin Cook and Steve Clark, St. Louis TRACON (T75)
Eastern Region: Dave Giberson and Corey Grafe, Philadelphia Tower (PHL)
Great Lakes Region: Jeff Richards, Chicago Center (ZAU)
New England Region: Erik Anderson, Boston Tower (BOS)
Northwest Mountain Region: Donovan Carson, Portland TRACON (P80)
Southern Region: Bill Sullivan, Tampa Tower/TRACON (TPA)
Southwest Region: LouElla Hollingsworth, Fort Worth Center (ZFW)
Western Pacific Region: Emily Birkland and Roy Teshima, Oakland Center (ZOA)