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House Passes NOTAM Legislation with NATCA Amendment

On Tuesday, June 15, the House passed H.R. 1262, bipartisan legislation that would, if enacted, establish an FAA task force to determine improvements to the Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) system, which provides critical information to pilots regarding potential hazards in the National Airspace System. NATCA proposed a clarifying amendment to the bill before it was…

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John Bressler Named Director of Government Affairs

Deputy Director of Government Affairs John Bressler has been chosen to fill the NATCA National Office Director of Government Affairs position, effective immediately. We recently featured Bressler in a March NATCA Insider, celebrating five years of employment with NATCA. We’re excited to have him fill this new role.

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Insider Story Idea?

What’s happening at your facility? We want to know! Hosting a solidarity event? Participating in a charity drive? Doing something fun and interesting in your off time? We want to hear about it, and share your story with the NATCA family, via the NATCA Insider! Send your ideas and questions to publicaffairs@natcadc.org.

NATCA Insider Archive

Press Releases

Gilbert Elected to Join the IFATCA Executive Board and Serve as the Federation Executive Vice President for the Americas Region

WASHINGTON – Today during their 2021 annual conference, the member associations (MA) from the Americas Region of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (IFATCA) elected NATCA Executive Vice President (EVP) Trish Gilbert to be the EVP for their region and join the Federation’s Executive Board. IFATCA is the international organization that represents more…

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During Congressional Roundtable, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi Says Out of the Chaos of COVID-19 Comes Opportunity to Invest in our Nation’s Aviation System

WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi told a congressional roundtable on air traffic control modernization today that the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) physical infrastructure needs attention. He explained, “Our en route centers are almost 60 years old. Many towers and TRACONs are in need of repair and replacement. Many of…

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NATCA News Alert: Paul Rinaldi to Participate in a Congressional Roundtable

Tomorrow, May 18, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi will participate in a congressional roundtable hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure (T & I) Aviation Subcommittee. All NATCA members are invited to watch. Here is more information: WHAT: This roundtable, titled, “Final Approach: An Update on ATC Modernization” will focus on…

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Podcasts

Fort Worth Center (ZFW) air traffic controller Randy Wilkins has worked enough general aviation traffic in his 13 years there to know that while he and his colleagues aim to provide the best support they can and the most information possible to pilots who encounter difficulty, ultimately, it’s up to the pilot to finish off a safe landing.
But Wilkins is passionate about training and developing his base of knowledge in as many different ways as he can to be prepared for challenging situations. That includes researching air safety investigations in his spare time, looking at how past NATCA Archie League Medal of Safety Award-winning controllers handled situations, watching YouTube instructional videos of VFR pilots encountering IFR conditions, and learning about the dangers of pilot vertigo in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).
“You watch a video and think, ‘well, what would I do? Would I know to say that? Would I know to think about this?’ So I really fall back on those replays,” said Wilkins, who said one of the most important things he learned from watching other Archie League Award event replays is the importance of being calm on the radio, as it helps keep the pilot calm and focused. “If I was a pilot, I would think, ‘if that was me, what would I want to know, and what would I want somebody to say to me before I did this?’ The worst thing you hear about is people getting disoriented and flipped upside-down. The likelihood of getting disoriented in clouds if you’re not used to it is pretty high.”
That was the situation a Cessna 150 pilot faced in Wilkins’s airspace as he flew in solid IFR conditions near the boundary of Kansas City Center (ZKC) airspace, between Oklahoma City approach control and Tulsa approach control. He was lost, definitely under stress, and sought help through the Guard radio frequency. He ended up talking to a Southwest Airlines pilot who was trying to figure out where he was.
Listen as Wilkins and fellow ZFW controller Chris Clavin talk about this event, for which they both will receive the Archie League Medal of Safety Award for the Southwest Region on Aug. 11, 2021.

Listen to every episode of The NATCA Podcast here:

NATCA in the Media

CNN: FAA’s new cleaning methods at air traffic towers aim to curb flight delays

A new cleaning regimen is cutting back on flight delays as the skies grow busier this summer. But the new procedures aren’t for planes or even airport terminals — they’re for air traffic control towers.The cleaning methods are being instituted in Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control towers and facilities around the country, federal officials tell CNN….

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Politico: FAA May Adopt Gender-Neutral Drone Language

By Stephanie Beasley The FAA has asked its drone advisory panel to explore moving away from words like “unmanned,” “manned,” “airman” and other gender-specific terms for drones as the agency and industry look to attract a more diverse and younger crop of people to the field. The agency’s Drone Advisory Committee, whose members are mostly…

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Las Vegas Review-Journal: McCarran Airport name change backed by air traffic controllers

The decision to rename Las Vegas’ airport to Harry Reid International Airport is garnering national support. National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Paul Rinaldi issued a statement Wednesday backing the Clark County Commission’s unanimous decision last week to rename McCarran International Airport after the former Nevada senator. “We strongly support this decision. Harry Reid International Airport is…

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