NATCA News - Issues - ATC - Aviation Information

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NATCA News - Issues

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  1. Viewed 863 TimesWithout Safe Staffing In Fairbanks - FAA Needlessly Threatens Lives of Pilots - Passengers
    After years of progress and modernization designed to prevent aircraft from crashing into mountainous terrain, the Federal Aviation Administration has taken a big step backward in Fairbanks, giving in to staffing shortages created by its own imposed work rules and B-scale pay rules and removing the critical safety service given by controllers to pilots navigating the challenging surrounding terrain.

    The problem stems from the unsafe staffing level at Fairbanks, which has responsibility for th... [Read More]
  2. Viewed 583 TimesWith FAA Communications System Shut Down, Oakland Center Controllers Scrambled To Keep Planes Safe


    FREMONT, Calif.: A subcontractor's mistake caused the FAA

    Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) system to shut down Wednesday morning for 20 harrowing minutes at one of the country's largest regional air traffic control centers, leaving more than half the controllers on duty without the ability to communicate with airborne aircraft or use landline telephones to communicate w... [Read More]
  3. Viewed 627 TimesWhy The FAA's Orlando Plan Is Unsafe: Controllers-Pilots Stage Protest
    Starting today at Orlando International Airport air traffic controllers are protesting against an ill-advised FAA plan that separated the tower and radar approach control jobs for Orlando air traffic controllers, a move made in the eleventh hour, only two days before the 111th Congress was sworn in. The demonstration will end on Friday, January 30.

    Because the FAA chose to ignore the pleas and proposed alternate plans from air traffic controllers and a bipartisan Congressional Florida delega... [Read More]
  4. Viewed 618 TimesWho's guiding your plane?
    ...the union that represents air traffic controllers says about 37 percent of the staff guiding planes (at RDU) are actually trainees in various stages of on the job training...

    ...According to a government report, control tower managers, training officers, and union officials all say that the number of trainees working in a control tower should be limited to 20 to 25 percent...

    from:... [Read More]
  5. Viewed 623 TimesWashington Center Outage Cripples Flight Operation
    Busy Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center has experienced yet another outage, only a month after a chaotic radio outage in October. Responsible for safely directing high altitude air traffic in an airspace spanning over D.C., Delaware, and parts of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Washington Center has had its fair share of outages recently,this being the third in a short period of time.

    The outage lasted approximately 12 hours, with comm... [Read More]
  6. Viewed 565 TimesUtah Cong. Delegation Asks FAA To Delay ERAM Citing Safety Concerns


    June 12, 2009

    WASHINGTON: Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Robert Bennett of Utah, along with two of that state's Congressmen, Rep. Jim Matheson (D) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), have written to ask FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt to delay next week's scheduled implementation at Salt Lake Center of the agency's maj... [Read More]
  7. Viewed 721 TimesUnderstaffing Cited as Contributory Factor to Operational Error
    An operational error review board at the Kansas City International Airport Tower has cited, in its report to the facility's FAA manager, the failure to adequately staff positions in the terminal radar approach control room (TRACON) as a factor in an operational error that occurred on May 23, 2008. An operational error occurs when two aircraft get closer than the FAA's minimum separation standards allow.

    According to the report, the traffic complexity was increased due to strong east winds whi... [Read More]
  8. Viewed 616 TimesThe FAA agrees with NATCA and PASS to Install Defibrillators
    On Sept. 26, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it will install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in all agency facilities with 50 or more employees during the next year. The agency says it will then evaluate implementation costs and whether a sufficient number of employees are volunteering to be responders. Pending positive results of the evaluation, the FAA says, it intends to deploy AEDs to the remaining FAA facilities with 10 or more employees during the following two... [Read More]
  9. Viewed 680 TimesStaffing Crisis Worsens in New York and Alaska
    Admitting to a worsening staffing crisis that has hurt both the safety and efficiency of the air traffic control system, the Federal Aviation Administration is now literally begging experienced controllers to fill open positions at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) by offering up to $100,000 in relocation bonus money.

    The FAA is also offering a $75,000 bonus to controllers who will transfer to Alaska; specifically to Fairbanks Tower and Anchorage TRACON.

    "It's a... [Read More]
  10. Viewed 605 TimesRunoff Election Declared in Race for NATCA President

    July 31, 2009

    WASHINGTON: A run-off election was declared between NATCA Presidential candidates Ruth Marlin and Paul Rinaldi. Running for the office were current NATCA President Patrick Forrey, former Executive Vice President Ruth Marlin and current Executive Vice President Paul Rinaldi.

    Another runoff election was declared between Central Region Vice Preside... [Read More]
  11. Viewed 685 TimesReno Controller Was Forced To Work Radar Positions Alone Due To Extreme Under-staffing
    An air traffic controller forced to work alone due to extreme understaffing in the radar facility that handles airborne traffic around Reno-Tahoe International Airport was incapacitated late Monday afternoon while on duty. The controller today is in stable condition at a local hospital.

    As he was experiencing chest pains at approximately 5:40 p.m. PDT, the controller called controllers in the control tower about his condition and they raced into action to call paramedics and take measures to... [Read More]
  12. Viewed 1,043 TimesRadar Outages at Two of the Countries Busiest Control Facilities
    Since Sunday there have been two significant operational failures at two of the country's busiest air traffic control facilities : Southern California TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) and Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center.

    Southern California TRACON, which controls the country's busiest terminal airspace and responsible for all arriving and departing flights into and out of the Southern California area (including LAX and John Wayne Airport), experienced a loss of both radar and r... [Read More]
  13. Viewed 809 TimesPaul Rinaldi Elected NATCA President
    Paul M. Rinaldi, an 18-year veteran air traffic controller from Washington-Dulles Tower, won a runoff election on Thursday with a record number of votes to become the new president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

    Rinaldi, who served as executive vice president since 2006, will take office on Oct. 17 to begin his three-year term as the sixth president in NATCA's 22-year history. Rinaldi won 53 percent of the vote to defeat Miami Center controller Ruth Marlin, who was NATCA... [Read More]
  14. Viewed 682 TimesPatrick Forrey Testimony on Issues of Concern to the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area
    Air travel is an integral part the economy and of life in Philadelphia. Ranked the 9th busiest airport in the world and among the fastest growing in the United States,[1] Philadelphia International Airport has had more than 83 million passengers arriving and departing over the last three years.[2] But flying into Philadelphia has become less efficient; Philadelphia is ranked 30th out of 32 major airports in percent of on-time departures, a rate which as fallen from 79 percent in 2001 to only 70... [Read More]
  15. Viewed 633 TimesNEXGEN Can Only Succeed If FAA Collaborates With NATCA
    NATCA President Patrick Forrey today told the House Aviation Subcommittee that the union remains completely committed to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS). Thus, NATCA supports NextGen and believes it has a chance to succeed, but only if the Federal Aviation Administration collaborates meaningfully with NATCA and all aviation stakeholders.

    "New technology has the potential to improve safety, expand capacity, and increase efficiency of the NAS. Therefore, we... [Read More]
  16. Viewed 616 TimesNewark Controller Files for Whistleblower Protection
    Veteran Newark Tower air traffic controller Ray Adams is striking back against harsh intimidation and retaliation tactics used by the Federal Aviation Administration to try and silence both his safety concerns and that of his co-workers regarding procedures for departures and flight paths hastily implemented earlier this year as part of airspace redesign efforts rushed into use without controller involvement.

    Adams has filed for federal whistleblower protection with the U.S. Office of Special... [Read More]
  17. Viewed 626 TimesNew York Airspace Czar Demands Misguided Change In Holding Pattern Control
    In a purely political decision that relegates flight safety and efficiency to a lesser priority, the New York airspace "czar," Marie Kennington-Gardiner, has demanded that the airspace currently used for holding patterns to accommodate delayed aircraft into New York's Kennedy International Airport be forcibly transferred from New York Air Route Traffic Control Center to New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) by the end of this month.

    And, as has been the case throughout t... [Read More]
  18. Viewed 625 TimesNew York - Philadelphia Delays Expected Due to Ill-Conceived FAA Plan
    December 29, 2008

    So you thought the flight delays last week due to bad holiday weather were miserable? Try dealing with what will likely be a fresh set of delays starting today if you're flying out of New York or Philadelphia. And this time, you can thank the Federal Aviation Administration.

    At issue is the airspace presently used for holding patterns to accommodate delayed aircraft into New York's Kennedy International Airport. Starting today, the FAA is forcibly transferring that airspa... [Read More]
  19. Viewed 668 TimesNear-miss on Runway at Allentown, PA
    A Mesa Airlines regional jet was forced to abort its takeoff and swerve on the runway to miss a Cessna on Friday evening at Lehigh Valley International Airport. There were two Federal Aviation Administration employees in the tower, both controller trainees.

    The incident comes as the House Aviation Subcommittee prepares to hold a follow-up hearing this Thursday on runway safety. NATCA President Patrick Forrey will be testifying.

    At approximately 7:35 p.m. EDT Friday, the Cessna landed on Ru... [Read More]
  20. Viewed 485 TimesNatca Urges Swift Passage Of Senate FAA Reauthorization Bill

    July 22, 2009

    WASHINGTON: National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Patrick Forrey released the following statement after the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved a two-year FAA re-authorization bill on Tuesday.

    "We thank the Committee for approving this critical bill (S.1451), which addresses so many key is... [Read More]
  21. Viewed 505 TimesNATCA U.S. Controllers, IFATCA, On International Day of Air Traffic Controller
    Oct 20, 2009

    Saluting the exceptional safety record, skill and dedication of the air traffic controllers it represents nationwide, NATCA today is joining with its colleagues around the world in recognizing "International Day of the Air Traffic Controller", which this year is commemorating the 48th anniversary of the founding of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controller's Associations (IFATCA).

    IFATCA is the worldwide organization representing more than 50,000 air... [Read More]
  22. Viewed 529 TimesNATCA to FAA on How to Solve Pending Grievances
    NATCA's ATC Push
    NATCA To FAA On How To Solve Pending Grievances: Restore 2003 Agreement, Complete Negotiations and Ratify Successor Agreement

    The following is a letter sent Friday by NATCA President Patrick Forrey to FAA's Joseph Miniace:

    July 11, 2008

    Joseph Miniace
    Deputy Assistant Administrator
    for Human Resource Management
    Federal Aviation Administration
    800 Independence Ave., SW
    Washington, DC 20591

    Dear Mr. Miniace,

    As you know, NATCA disagrees with your assertion... [Read More]
  23. Viewed 462 TimesNATCA Testifies Against the FAA for Hasty Certification of the Eclipse
    Representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) are testifying today on the irresponsible and inappropriate actions taken by the Federal Aviation Administration during certification of the Eclipse EA-500.

    In addition to representing the nation's air traffic controllers NATCA also represents nearly 1,700 engineers, including a unit of FAA aircraft certification engineers who ensure that aircraft are tested and safely designed in addition to investigating incidents... [Read More]
  24. Viewed 504 TimesNATCA Supports Obama for President
    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today is giving its endorsement for president to Senator Barack Obama, a champion of fair collective bargaining rights for controllers, a fierce advocate for aviation safety and holding the Federal Aviation Administration accountable, and a courageous, inspiring and devoted leader for working men and women nationwide.

    "This has been a historic battle for the Democratic nomination and we feel extremely proud and excited to throw our co... [Read More]
  25. Viewed 641 TimesNATCA Supports NEXTGEN, Says "Union Must Be An Active Participant"
    NATCA's top safety and technology expert, former Atlanta and Charlotte air traffic controller Dale Wright, reaffirmed for the Senate Aviation Subcommittee today the union's full support of the NextGen air traffic control system and said, "we believe that NATCA must be an active participant." He outlined specifically why that is critically important to NextGen's success.

    "Collaboration with NATCA is especially important, as our members will be the primary users of the NextGen t... [Read More]
  26. Viewed 549 TimesNATCA Strongly Disputes NTSB Inference Of Controller Responsibility In Hudson River Crash Sequence

    August 17, 2009

    WASHINGTON: Air traffic controllers today are strongly disputing misleading and,in one passage,outright false parts of Friday's NTSB Hudson River mid-air crash press release that mistakenly and unfairly assign responsibilities to a Teterboro, N.J., controller during the pre-crash sequence of events th... [Read More]
  27. Viewed 516 TimesNATCA Statement on Transportation Secretary - Designee Ray LaHood
    NATCA President Patrick Forrey released the following statement today following President-elect Barack Obama's announcement of U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., as his transportation secretary designee:

    "I am looking forward to sitting down with Secretary-designee LaHood as soon as possible to discuss the issues that are of critical importance to the air traffic controller and FAA aviation safety professional workforces.

    "At the top of the list is the urgency to resolve our contra... [Read More]
  28. Viewed 428 TimesNATCA Reaction To NTSB Recommendations On Hudson River Exclusion Zone
    August 27, 2009

    WASHINGTON: NATCA President Patrick Forrey today had the following reaction to the NTSB's recommendations on the Hudson River exclusion zone airspace, the location of the Aug. 8 mid-air collision involving a small plane and a helicopter near Hoboken, N.J.:

    "The NTSB again has rushed to wrongly blame the air traffic controller in this incident. The board inexplicably has also made its recommen... [Read More]
  29. Viewed 473 TimesNATCA President Testifies On FAA Re-authorization Act of 2009
    NATCA President Patrick Forrey testified today in front of the House?s Aviation Subcommittee on the FAA Re-authorization Act of 2009, H.R. 915.

    NATCA fully supports and endorses the provisions of H.R. 915, as it nullifies the imposed work rules the FAA unilaterally imposed on the controller workforce in September 2006. NATCA thanks House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn., and House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Costello, D-Ill.

    Said Forrey... [Read More]
  30. Viewed 391 TimesNATCA President Statement On President Obama Announcement
    National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Patrick Forrey released this statement following the announcement today by the Obama Administration that it will appoint a team of mediators to immediately address the contract dispute between the Federal Aviation Administration and NATCA.

    "With this bold step, President Obama is fulfilling his commitment to the safety and modernization of the air traffic control system and to the dedicated men and women safety professionals who run... [Read More]
  31. Viewed 521 TimesNATCA President Patrick Forrey Testimony Concerning Runway Safety
    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is the exclusive representative of over 14,000 air traffic controllers serving the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Defense and private sector. In addition, NATCA represents approximately 1,200 FAA engineers, 600 traffic management coordinators, 500 aircraft certification professionals, agency operational support staff, regional personnel from FAA's logistics, budget, finance and computer specialist divisions, and... [Read More]
  32. Viewed 470 TimesNATCA President Forrey - FAA Security Breach Inexusable - Preventable
    NATCA President Patrick Forrey issued the following statement today in response to the news Monday that hackers got into the Federal Aviation Administration's server last week and accessed personal data from 45,000 FAA employees, including names and Social Security numbers.

    "News of the security breach is bad enough. It's a sickening feeling for FAA employees that we represent; employees who have suffered mightily under this rogue FAA management team for many years now. What's worse is t... [Read More]
  33. Viewed 487 TimesNATCA Endorses Richard L. Trumka For AFL-CIO President
    July 29, 2009

    WASHINGTON: NATCA lends its enthusiastic support for AFL-CIO President to Richard L. Trumka, a loyal activist for working men and women

    everywhere. Currently serving his fourth term as Secretary-Treasurer with the AFL-CIO, Trumka served for three terms as the President of the United Mine Workers of America before being elected to his current position in 1995.

    Trumka has dedicated himself to uph... [Read More]
  34. Viewed 512 TimesNATCA Endorses Rep. Capuano for Massachussetts State Senate
    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents over 15,000 air traffic controllers nationwide along with several thousand other aviation safety professionals, proudly announced today that it is endorsing the candidacy of Rep. Mike Capuano, D-Mass., to be the next U.S. Senator from that state.

    "NATCA's membership enthusiastically supports Congressman Capuano's campaign in light of his dedication and support for aviation safety issues and his respect for working men and... [Read More]
  35. Viewed 486 TimesNATCA Endorses Neil Abercrombie For Governor Of Hawaii


    HONOLULU : The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents the nation's air traffic controllers and aviation safety professionals who serve the Hawaiian airspace, proudly announced today that it is endorsing Congressman Neil Abercrombie for governor of the great state of Hawaii in 2010.

    The endorsement comes with the union's deep gratitude to Congressman Abercrombie for his dedication and support f... [Read More]
  36. Viewed 448 TimesNATCA Congratulates Babbitt On FAA Administrator Nomination
    NATCA President Patrick Forrey released the following statement today following President Obama's announcement of Randy Babbitt as his FAA administrator designee:

    "On behalf of the 20,000 aviation safety professionals NATCA represents, I congratulate Mr. Babbitt on his nomination. We now look to the Senate Commerce Committee in hopes of a swift confirmation so that Mr. Babbitt can get right to work in tackling the array of big challenges that will await him when he reaches his office; t... [Read More]
  37. Viewed 399 TimesNATCA Congratulates AOPA President on his Retirement
    NATCA President Patrick Forrey issued the following statement on the announcement Monday that Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Phil Boyer will retire at the end of this year, to be succeeded by Craig L. Fuller:

    "Phil's leadership of AOPA has resulted in tremendous growth of the organization and significant advancement for the safety of general aviation. Owners and pilots world-wide could not have asked for a better advocate concerning all important issues in the world of... [Read More]
  38. Viewed 427 TimesMiracle On The Hudson - Statement By NATCA President Patrick Forrey
    January 17, 2009

    The following is a statement by National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Patrick Forrey, reflecting on Thursday's amazing chapter in America's proud aviation history, the safe water landing and evacuation of US Airways Flight 1549.

    "I have never been so proud of the men and women who work on the front lines of our National Airspace System than I am right now.This incredible story of survival from an extremely rare and perilous condition of crippled flig... [Read More]
  39. Viewed 562 TimesMiami Center Veteran Controller Resigns due to Hostile Work Environment
    Today Miami Center is operating with 192 fully certified controllers and 84 developmental controllers with operational numbers exceeding 2.5 million aircraft a year, up from only 1.5 million operations 15 years ago.

    For many years the FAA's authorized staffing number for Miami Center was 279 full performance level controllers,a number based on many factors not limited to the number of aircraft and operational positions. That number has now dropped to 197; the FAA's attempt to conceal the fact... [Read More]
  40. Viewed 451 TimesMiami Center Controllers to FAA - Keep Meteorologists Here
    February 5, 2009

    In a potentially dangerous move the Federal Aviation Administration plans to remove on-site weather forecasters from Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in order to cut costs. The Miami Center air traffic controllers, responsible for over 400,000 miles of airspace and much of the air traffic going to and from the United States, the Bahamas, Caribbean and Central and South America, are asking the FAA to cancel its plan;concerned that the flying public will be at ris... [Read More]
  41. Viewed 486 TimesMemphis Center Controllers To FAA: Keep Meterologists Here
    Air traffic controllers at the Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center today are joining with their on-site weather forecasting colleagues in calling for an end to plans by the Federal Aviation Administration to pull the meteorologists out of the facility and consolidate this critical nationwide weather service in a cost-cutting move that would threaten the safety of air travel in the skies above the Mid-South.

    The FAA has given the National Weather Service (NWS) until Feb. 23 to submit its... [Read More]
  42. Viewed 465 TimesMediation On FAA - NATCA Contract Dispute Begins


    May 19, 2009
    WASHINGTON: Mediation aimed at ending an ongoing contract dispute between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) began yesterday.

    Both parties signed a process agreement to move the negotiations forward... [Read More]
  43. Viewed 513 TimesLouisiana Tower Forced to Relinquish Airspace Due to Short Staffing
    Air traffic controllers at Lake Charles Tower are not only suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, but are also bearing the brunt of a severe staffing shortage. Flight operations into Lake Charles have tripled due to the high amount of helicopter traffic in and out of the area,displaced from Southeast Texas and other areas impacted by Hurricane Ike.

    While the facility's normal operating hours are from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., turning over the airspace to Houston Air Route Traffic Control Cen... [Read More]
  44. Viewed 475 TimesLos Angeles Center Controllers To FAA: Keep Meteorologists Here
    Air traffic controllers at Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and their on-site meteorologists are asking the FAA to cancel its plan to remove the weather forecasters in order to cut costs.

    NATCA and the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) are both opposed to this change because of the potentially dangerous effects it could have on the safety of the operation and therefore, the flying public.

    Responsible for the traffic going in and out of three of the... [Read More]
  45. Viewed 549 TimesLake Charles Controller Wins NATCA President's Award For Best Flight Assist In Archie League Medal
    Air traffic controller John Charlton of Lake Charles, La. Tower was presented with the NATCA President?s Award last night at the Archie League Medal of Safety Awards banquet for his dedication to his profession and his commitment to preserving the safety of the flying public.

    Remaining patient and using his 10-plus years of air traffic control experience, Charlton gave extra attention to a nervous student pilot who had already unsuccessfully attempted to land twice. Alerting fire and rescue i... [Read More]
  46. Viewed 565 TimesKansas City Center Radar Failure Delays Flights - Disrupts System
    An hour-long radar failure at the Kansas City Air Route Traffic Control Center late Sunday afternoon sent controllers scrambling to locate aircraft and keep them safe while transitioning to a far less efficient backup system. The malfunction also caused delays for passengers waiting to depart Kansas City International Airport.

    Air traffic controllers' radar displays stopped working at approximately 5 p.m. CDT, with 335 aircraft above the skies of the central United States. The failure stopped... [Read More]
  47. Viewed 562 TimesJacksonville Controller Resigns after One Year
    Jacksonville controller Keith Schlegel says when he arrived at the air traffic control facility a year ago, "the contract dispute between the controllers and FAA management was well underway" and "the working environment was suffering as a result. Controller shortages, an abundance of trainees, decreased pay, and low morale had begun setting in. At the time of this letter (see link below), it has not gotten better, but has in fact gotten worse."

    Schlegel's resignation was... [Read More]
  48. Viewed 564 TimesInspector General's Staffing Report Validates NATCA's Concerns
    A report released today by the Department of Transportation Inspector General on the critical air traffic controller staffing issues at three major California FAA facilities vindicates what the National Air Traffic Controllers Association has long said about the safety concerns that come from a loss of experienced controllers and the vast amount of work now needed by the FAA to dig out from the deep hole caused by FAA labor, staffing and "run it like a business" failures during the... [Read More]
  49. Viewed 553 TimesIndianapolis Center Air Traffic Controllers Ask FAA: Please Keep Meteorologists Here
    Air traffic controllers at the Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center today are joining with their on-site weather forecasting colleagues in asking the Federal Aviation Administration to shelve plans to pull the meteorologists out of the facility and consolidate this critical nationwide weather service in a cost-cutting move that would threaten the safety of air travel in the busy skies above the Midwest.

    The weather forecasters in Indianapolis have many years of experience forecasting... [Read More]
  50. Viewed 503 TimesFlying Public Used as Gunea Pigs
    Last Saturday at approximately 4:10 p.m. EDT an FAA Supervisor at Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center ordered several air traffic controllers to issue new routes to four flights for the purpose of generating more traffic for a trainee undergoing a skills check, when a supervisor observes a trainee to see if he or she is ready to be certified to work that sector without direct supervision by a certified air traffic controller.

    The new routes were issued to the four flights around Wi... [Read More]
  51. Viewed 883 TimesFlight Service Specialists in Alaska to be Represented by NATCA
    NATCA has officially added a new group of Federal Aviation Administration employees to its list of bargaining units. Some 150 air traffic control specialists assigned to the flight service option at Automated Flight Service Stations, Flight Service Stations, and Flight Service Data Processing Systems sites located in Alaska and at the "Weather Unit"of the Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Herndon, Va., have voted to be represented by NATCA.

    These employees had been repres... [Read More]
  52. Viewed 468 TimesFamiliar FAA Modernization Failures Exposed In Thursday Travel Mess
    Just hours before the start of one of the busiest air travel weeks of the year, the Federal Aviation Administration's flawed patchwork network of outsourced and poorly backed-up communications systems of questionable reliability was exposed for the nation, and Congress , to see on Thursday. And the future looks more shaky if the FAA is allowed to continue with its aggressive and dangerous campaign to close some air traffic control facilities and combine operations into a smaller number of... [Read More]
  53. Viewed 617 TimesFAA Violated Due Process In Punishing A Controller
    A Kansas City controller, wrongfully suspended after an FAA supervisor initiated a physical altercation with him on the job, was fully exonerated with the help of the Department of Labor, the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) and an arbitrator.

    In a minor disagreement that quickly escalated, the controller's FAA supervisor shoved him after the controller disagreed with him. After filing a police report with the airport authorities the controller was issued a three-day suspension by the... [Read More]
  54. Viewed 407 TimesFAA Trying To Eliminate Proven, Safe System For Weather Forecasting
    Air traffic controllers at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and their on-site meteorologists oppose an FAA plan that will remove the weather forecasters to save money, relocating them to two facilities in Kansas City and College Park, Md.

    Both NATCA and the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) oppose this change because of the potentially dangerous effects it could have on the safety of the flying public.

    Responsible for one of the country's busiest se... [Read More]
  55. Viewed 480 TimesFAA Technicians and Air Traffic Controllers Express Frustration with Persistent Power Outages

    Another power outage occurred in the air traffic control tower at Philadelphia International Airport during the early hours of July 21. This latest power outage, the second in less than two months, represents a repeated failure of FAA policy to address serious threats to aviation safety said the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS) and National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) today.

    On June 4, a major power outage affected the single power line to the a... [Read More]
  56. Viewed 1,236 TimesFAA Supervisor Takes Cell Phone Call in Tower, Runway Incident Occurs
    Last Wednesday, in a brazenly callous move, the Federal Aviation Administration supervisor at the Flying Cloud Airport control tower turned his back on runway operations during an on-the-job training exercise to take a call on his cell phone and missed his trainee mistakenly clear an airport vehicle to cross the runway in front of a departing aircraft.

    The FAA has a strict ban on cell phone usage in its operational areas. The supervisor was training the facility's manager, who was attempting... [Read More]
  57. Viewed 447 TimesFAA Rushes To Try And Implement Service-Degrading Engineer Consolidation Plan
    In its latest large-scale move to try and cut costs by reducing critical aviation safety services, the Federal Aviation Administration has begun to implement its "Engineering Services Efficiency Plan (ESEP)" which will move 362 FAA engineers away from where they're most needed. The move marks the boldest thumbing of the FAA's nose to widespread Congressional opposition to the plan to date.

    The ESEP, which the agency has acted upon very quietly, without transparency or public stateme... [Read More]
  58. Viewed 462 TimesFAA Rejects Concerns From Congress, NATCA; Splits Memphis Air Traffic Facility

    June 10, 2009
    WASHINGTON-The Federal Aviation Administration last Sunday moved forward with a rushed plan to split the tower and radar control functions at Memphis International Airport, advancing a controversial management agenda and rejecting a torrent of concern from Congress and air traffic controllers who continue to urge the agency... [Read More]
  59. Viewed 484 TimesFAA Misleads Public In Conveying Controller Involvement In Agency's Flawed Airspace Redesign Project
    December 10, 2008

    In an article posted on the FAA website on December 2, the agency gave several misleading statements regarding the controller workforce. The article, "Controllers in the Loop to Help Reduce New York Congestion" led readers to believe that NATCA had collaborated with the FAA in improving traffic flow in the New York area and Philadelphia as part of an airspace simulation exercise and forum.

    In a letter to FAA Chief Operating Officer Hank Krakowski, NATCA Eastern... [Read More]
  60. Viewed 901 TimesFAA Lacks A Contigency Plan For Radar Outage, Causing Delays And Fuel Waste
    Because of yet another ill-advised move by the FAA and a radar outage at Bermuda airport, controllers at New York Air Route Traffic Control Center are left to develop contingency plans to guide aircraft into and out of Bermuda's airspace while aircraft traveling to and through the airspace face delays.

    Handling Bermuda airspace traffic is New York Center, which runs the Bermuda airspace all the way through approach , Bermuda tower only handles arrivals and departures. Controllers at the New Y... [Read More]
  61. Viewed 480 TimesFAA Kills Effort to Improve Weather Data Dissemination
    Federal air traffic management coordinators today are calling on the Federal Aviation Administration to take immediate action to restart work on an important safety feature to a software upgrade in the final development stages that would provide additional automated weather information to the computer system used by air traffic controllers monitoring the en route portion of flights.

    The three-year-old project was proceeding, albeit slowly, up until mid-September, when FAA officials abruptly p... [Read More]
  62. Viewed 497 TimesFAA Issues Fuel Tank Flammability Rule
    he FAA announced today the issue of a fuel tank flammability reduction rule based on the proposal it published in 2005. The FAA Aircraft Certification Engineers, represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) are pleased that the FAA retained the retro-fit requirement for passenger airplanes and that it modified the final rule to apply the same fuel tank flammability standards to all new transport category airplane designs. Though pleased this important safety rule was... [Read More]
  63. Viewed 608 TimesFAA HR Chief Objects to her Flight's Go-Around
    Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration twice shut down the critical runway safety radar system at Boston Logan International Airport known as AMASS (Airport Movement Area Safety System) on orders from high-level FAA management to investigate a routine, safe go-around event involving an arriving AirTran flight that had on board Ventris Gibson, the FAA's assistant administrator for human resources management.

    Apparently upset at having her flight's landing interrupted, Gibson a... [Read More]
  64. Viewed 529 TimesFAA Forcing Out Engineers To Hire.....Engineers?
    Just a few weeks after having its reckless, beat-the-inauguration plan for moving hundreds of experienced engineers away from where they're most needed exposed to public scrutiny, the Federal Aviation Administration appears to be preparing to add insult to this injury to the National Airspace System. This despite a new round of opposition led by Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

    In a Dec. 3 article on its employees web site entitled, "Dipping Into the Pool of an Experienced Workforce... [Read More]
  65. Viewed 472 TimesFAA Forces Controller To Work 13 Straight Hours
    December 28, 2008

    An air traffic controller at Griffiss International Airport was forced by his Federal Aviation Administration supervisor to work 13 straight hours, from 4 p.m. EST Saturday to 5 a.m. EST Sunday, in a gross violation of federal air regulations.

    Controllers are not permitted to work more than 10 hours in one shift. With the increased attention the National Transportation Safety Board is giving to controller fatigue ; including an FAA-ignored April 2007 recommendation for th... [Read More]
  66. Viewed 463 TimesFAA Covers Up Newark Incidents
    On Monday (Nov. 17), three more planes flew the wrong heading after departing Newark Liberty International Airport, including a plane operated by the Federal Aviation Administration. That brings the total number of departures that have flown the wrong way to more than 20 since the FAA implemented the first phase of its airspace redesign project last December.

    Even more disturbing to local air traffic controllers is the fact that official FAA records only account for one of the three incidents... [Read More]
  67. Viewed 571 TimesFAA Controllers Looking Out for Safety: You're Dismissed!

    In a move that further jeopardizes the safety and efficiency of America's aviation system, the Federal Aviation Administration has terminated a vital program that ensured critical cooperation between America's air traffic controllers and the agency. The move, which comes against the recommendations of the Government Accountability Office and coincides with a House of Representatives' vote against reckless agency cuts, is just the latest attack on the previously productive partnersh... [Read More]
  68. Viewed 1,335 TimesFAA Communication Outage at Washington Center
    There has been another Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control communications failure. This time, it was a radio outage on Monday at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center that left controllers in one busy sector unable to talk to pilots of aircraft flying above the Richmond, Va., area and scrambling in a chaotic situation to try and keep them safe. Many flights were delayed.

    The cause of the roughly 10-minute outage at approximately 6:49 p.m. EDT is undetermined, according t... [Read More]
  69. Viewed 1,244 TimesFAA child care subsidy program
    The Federal Aviation Administration has notified employees of the implementation of its child care subsidy program. But NATCA bargaining unit employees are not eligible at this time. Here's the story:

    NATCA originally proposed this program during contract negotiations in 2005-2006, at which time it was "rejected on its merits" by the Agency. In other words, the FAA wanted nothing to do with it when NATCA proposed it during negotiations. The Agency then came out with a policy for all... [Read More]
  70. Viewed 406 TimesFAA Cannont Implement New York Holding Procedure Plan - Not Enough Controllers!
    Air travelers in the Northeast corridor have caught a slight break, albeit most likely temporary. The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday was unable to implement its flawed and inefficient new airspace procedures for a holding pattern above New York because of another flawed, inefficient and chronic agency condition: It didn't have enough air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility.
    December 30, 2008
    FAA management at New York TRACON was forc... [Read More]
  71. Viewed 488 TimesFAA And NATCA Reach Landmark Agreement


    For Immediate Release
    August 13, 2009

    WASHINGTON : The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its largest union, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), have concluded a challenging mediation process that has produced a landmark labor agreement.

    After years of strained relations, the joint decision to engage in mediation was an important first step, and today?s proposed agreement represents a milestone... [Read More]
  72. Viewed 460 TimesControllers Support New Runways But Have Concerns
    Seattle-Tacoma: Upping the Ante on Runway Incursions

    Despite runway safety being one of the NTSB top concerns on its "Most Wanted" list the new runway at Seattle-Tacoma airport triples the chance for a runway incursion,going from 450 runway crossings to 1200 with the addition of the new runway.

    Like Dulles this was another runway project where the controllers had no input, leaving those who know the ins and outs of the airport operations out of the modernization equation. A proje... [Read More]
  73. Viewed 475 TimesControllers Support New Runways But Have Concerns
    Just in time for Thanksgiving, President Bush and Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announce today the opening of three new delay-reducing runways at Dulles, O'Hare and Seattle-Tacoma airports. While the hype is heavy the overall effect that these runways will have is weak, with one entirely useless, another increasing the risk of runway incursions and only one being remotely beneficial to the airport operation.

    Dulles: The Taxiway to Nowhere

    Touted as a major fix for dela... [Read More]
  74. Viewed 487 TimesController Plays Crucial Role In Saving Infant's Life

    August 6, 2009

    MIAMI : At 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning the pilot of a Lifeguard flight from St. Thomas bound for Miami radioed controllers at Miami Center for help because an infant on board fell into critical condition."

    Switching to a frequency where neither party would be distracted, Ken Anspach took the pilot?s request ? track down a specific doctor... [Read More]
  75. Viewed 841 TimesController Patrick Harten - In First Public Comments About US Airways Flight 1549
    New York TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) air traffic controller Patrick Harten testified before the House Aviation Subcommittee today that when he heard US Airways Flight 1549 Captain Chesley Sullenberger tell him on the radio frequency, "We're gonna be in the Hudson," he feared this was the plane's "death sentence."

    "I asked him to repeat himself, even though I heard him just fine. I simply could not wrap my mind around those words," said Harten, a 10-y... [Read More]
  76. Viewed 440 TimesCommerce Secretary Approves Plan To Close Weather Offices At Air Traffic Control Centers
    The Department of Commerce announced today that it is moving forward with controversial plans to close the National Weather Service Center Weather Service Units (?CWSUs?) located at each of the 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) in the continental United States. These forecast units provide real time, face-to-face, weather guidance to the air traffic controllers and air traffic management supervisors. The NWS has offered to send the FAA forecasts from two central units located in... [Read More]
  77. Viewed 498 TimesBusy Washington Center Radar Controller Denied Break by Management, Two Planes Near Miss
    An overloaded Washington Center air traffic controller struggling to handle a dozen planes in challenging conditions twice asked Federal Aviation Administration management officials at the facility last Sunday for help but was denied. After 10 minutes of fighting through the intense traffic rush by himself, the controller made a serious error and two regional jets got much closer than FAA rules allow in the latest episode of under staffing affecting safety at a major radar facility.

    The error... [Read More]
  78. Viewed 404 TimesBipartisan Congressional Coalition Opposes FAA Plan For Orlando
  79. Viewed 442 TimesAudio Tape of Reno Incident
    As NATCA reported last week, an air traffic controller forced to work alone due to extreme understaffing in the radar facility that handles airborne traffic around Reno-Tahoe International Airport was incapacitated while on duty June 23 as he suffered chest pains.

    At approximately 5:40 p.m. PDT, the controller called his colleagues in the control tower about his condition and they raced into action to call paramedics and take measures to ensure the safety of the flights that were under the il... [Read More]
  80. Viewed 497 TimesAtlanta TRACON - 18 Safety Incidents in 61 Days
    December 3, 2008

    The airspace around the world?s busiest airport, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International, is safe, thanks to the dedication and skill of an increasingly overburdened, fatigued and understaffed workforce of experienced air traffic controllers at the Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). However, the margin of safety is eroding every day and the proof is emerging in the form of a dangerous and alarming increase in safety incidents.

    There were two more operationa... [Read More]
  81. Viewed 648 TimesAtlanta Radar Facility Nearly Doubles Errors
    With two months left in the fiscal year Atlanta TRACON, the radar facility for the busiest airport in the world, has close to doubled last fiscal year?s total number of incidents in which planes got closer than FAA rules allow.

    The latest example came on July 17th when six operational events took place at approximately 7:20 P.M., one of the busiest times for Atlanta TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control). All six occurred when one Beechcraft, a BE-58, mistakenly flew through the final appro... [Read More]
  82. Viewed 636 TimesAtlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center Mold Infestion
    The nation's busiest air traffic control facility, Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, is currently the site of a dangerous mold and fungus infestation that has reached crisis proportions after sickening scores of employees, adding an extraordinary amount of anxiety and stress to an already difficult work environment and has even led an outside contractor to pull its employees out of the building due to the serious health concerns.

    Specifically, there is a fungus called Scopulariopsis... [Read More]
  83. Viewed 506 TimesAmerica's Air Traffic Controllers Enthusiastically Support Sen. Barrack Obama for President
    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today is giving its endorsement for president to Senator Barack Obama, a champion of fair collective bargaining rights for controllers, a fierce advocate for aviation safety and holding the Federal Aviation Administration accountable, and a courageous, inspiring and devoted leader for working men and women nationwide.

    ?This has been a historic battle for the Democratic nomination and we feel extremely proud and excited to throw our complete sup... [Read More]
  84. Viewed 536 TimesAirlines Force FAA To Hault New York Holding Procedure Plan
    After a one-day delay due to a controller shortage, the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday rammed through its ill-advised and inefficient new airspace procedures for a holding pattern above New York. But the plan lasted all of a few short hours before the FAA was forced to terminate it.

    The reason? The airlines complained about it, saying it was resulting in more delays than before, longer flying time and increased burn of expensive jet fuel which passengers continue to be charged mor... [Read More]
  85. Viewed 492 TimesAir Travel Around Nation's Capitol and Big Apple Suffers Due to FAA Failings

    Once again, the Federal Aviation Administration's failure to address an ongoing frequency problem at Washington Center, in Leesburg, Va., created a potentially dangerous situation yesterday for travelers in the Northeast Corridor. This is the latest in a string of equipment and system failures for the FAA that suggest a chronic problem that is getting worse.

    On Sunday morning, air traffic controllers managing aircraft in a busy sector at Washington Center lost all communication... [Read More]
  86. Viewed 529 TimesAir Traffic Controllers Must Be Invited To Fix FAA's NEXGEN SYSTEM
    Air traffic controllers are hopeful of having a greater voice and input in how the air traffic control system is modernized in the Obama Administration. First on the list of improvements to make is to renovate a flawed key technological component of the FAA?s NextGen system ? the ATOP system.

    Standing for Advanced Technologies for Oceanic Procedures, this computer system predicts where aircraft will be at any given moment while flying over the ocean where there is no radar coverage. The syste... [Read More]
  87. Viewed 454 TimesAir Traffic Controllers Expose How FAA Failures Threaten Air Safety

    Announcing a major new national public education campaign, America's air traffic controllers called on the FAA to address serious flaws that are putting the safety of the flying public at risk. Launching the "Fly Us Safe Campaign" - a television, internet and press effort - John Carr, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers' Association, outlined how serious mismanagement was putting the safety, integrity and efficiency of America's air traffic control system in... [Read More]
  88. Viewed 428 TimesAir Controllers, U.S. Ask Panel to Settle 30 Days

    Air Controllers, U.S. Ask Panel to Settle 30 Days
  89. Viewed 538 TimesAfter Snubbing the Controller Workforce The FAA Calls On Them To Recruit New Controllers
    The FAA plans to implement a new program in order to attract more new hires to the quickly diminishing air traffic controller workforce. In a letter to NATCA the FAA defined the change, ?Under this program a $1,000 bonus will be paid for the referral of an individual for a position designated as ?hard to fill.?

    The scope of the incentive-based referral program remains to be determined by the Agency including what the FAA defines as ?hard to fill? and the ways in which the Agency will determin... [Read More]
  90. Viewed 485 Times2008: Another Year Of FAA Failure On Key Safety Issues
    Burdened by an increasingly inexperienced workforce and a continuation of failed staffing and labor relations policies, the Federal Aviation Administration has admitted that not only did it fail in fiscal year 2008 to meet its own performance goals for one of its most critical safety issues ? incidents involving planes getting too close ? but the agency is off to a poor start to the new fiscal year as well.

    Acting FAA Administrator Robert A. Sturgell, writing in a fourth quarter FY08 report t... [Read More]
  91. Viewed 513 Times...Close Calls Over Colorado Errors Have NATCA Concerned
    ...the errors boil down to a controller experience issue.

    ?Right now we have 16-year-olds teaching 15-year-olds how to drive,? he said. ?We have very junior people giving on the job training to very inexperienced people...


    ...Close Calls Over Colorado Errors Have NATCA Concerned