Communicating for Safety

Communicating for Safety

NATCA - Communicating for Safety

What started as an event with just 40 attendees in 1999, Communicating for Safety (CFS) has now grown to become NATCA's premier safety conference with more than 1050 attendees. This conference is unique in that it's the only event of its kind to focus specifically on the air traffic needs of all members of the aviation community who are affected by the National Airspace System (NAS).

Annually hosted by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), this three-day conference focuses on safety in aviation, and includes presentations and forums presented by top aviation professionals that concentrate on how to further improve communication and relationships among pilots, controllers and other professionals with a vested interest in aviation safety.Attendees will learn about various topics which may include the effects weather and other environmental factors have on aviation safety, new technology and programs, human factors and modernization efforts. Attendees will alsohear moderated panels from aviation stakeholders and have opportunities to openly ask questions and discuss concerns with those panels.

Numerous aviation leaders and stakeholders have attended CFS since it began. Communicating For Safety 2013 in Las Vega marked theappearances by both FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman, who both spoke about the future of the National Airspace System, their profound appreciation for air traffic controllers and for NATCA always being on the forefront of aviation safety.

Each year, CFS concludes on a high note, with the Archie League Medal of Safety Awards. The only award of its kind, The Archie League Medal of Safety recognizes air traffic controllers who have handled significant and often dangerous air traffic situations with cool, calm professionalism, and always making great saves in the end However, if you were to ask the award winners about it, most would simply say they, “were just doing their job.”

CFS is about bringing a wide array of aviation professionals together, as one, to discuss what's working, what's not, and what can befurther improved. Those who should attend this conference include air traffic controllers, pilots, airport management and other aviation stakeholders. Attending and participating in CFS is a unique opportunity that should not be passed up!

Communicating for Safety (CFS) wasn't always a NATCA event, and it certainly didn't used to get the attention it now has today. So how did this importan tand unique conference come to be NATCA's premier safety event?

Back in 1999, the main sponsors of CFS were ALPA and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. At the time, NATCA member Wade Stanfield was serving as Chairman of the National Safety Committee and members Wesley Stoops (NSO) and Scott Voigt (NSW) were serving as Representatives of the Safety Committee. ALPA and Embry-Riddle no longer wanted to continue sponsoring CFS and were ready to pass the torch, therefore Stanfield, Stoops and Voigt came up with the idea of NATCA taking over CFS.They wanted to address aviation safety but to put more focus on safety topics relatable to the controller and the pilot. This was something NATCA felt didn't get enough attention.

With a vision to develop a conference that brought various groups of aviation experts together, while also presenting current and relevant topics with interaction from panel members and attendees, NATCA held their first CFS in 2000 in Atlanta, Ga. at the Atlanta Airport Embassy Suites with a mere 40 individuals. As CFS has continued over the years, its numbers have grown in astronomical proportions compared to what it started off as, and every year, NATCA strives to better the year before. Help this year's CFS in Las Vegas, Nev., be the next best CFS. -- NATCA CFS