Air Traffic Control Association
No. 10, 2015
IN THIS ISSUE: »» Q&A with ATCA President Peter F. Dumont
»» ATCA Scholarship Winners
»» Member on the Move: Steve Carver
»» Aviation History Corner
»» Member Spotlight: Cobec Consulting
»» And More
Q&A with ATCA’s President & CEO, Peter F. Dumont
No. 10, 2015 Published for
By Peter F. Dumont, President & CEO, Air Traffic Control Association
You traveled a lot this summer on behalf of ATCA. Name three places that you went this summer that you never saw yourself going? Peter Dumont: Bulgaria for the IFATCA [International Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations] Annual Conference; Crow’s Landing, CA, for the NASA UTM [Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management] demonstration; and visiting Google’s campus (a.k.a. the Googleplex). Our visit to Crow’s Landing was a highlight. We got to see the first practical application of an idea we’ve been discussing and how NASA plans to implement the UTM solution. What do you love most about being President & CEO of ATCA? PD: I love being involved with members, developing relationships with all entities, and helping to implement ideas in the industry. When I started, I expected to be here for two to three years, but now I’ve been here nine years. I love the job. What’s your favorite part of the ATCA Annual? PD: I really like recognizing the good work our members do through our awards and scholarship programs.
Before you were President & CEO of ATCA, you started your career as an air traffic controller. What was your favorite assignment? PD: I have two: Antarctica [where I spent three years] because it was such a challenging environment, and Moffett [Federal Airfield in California, where I served five years], where I met my wife, Vanessa. What’s been your proudest accomplishment in your tenure at ATCA? PD: I’d say putting together a good staff that’s helped the organization. ATCA has prospered and grown through one of the worst economic periods and having a great team is a huge part of that. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be? PD: Elon Musk (CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity) What book is currently on your nightstand? PD: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.
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Formed in 1956 as a non-profit, professional membership association, ATCA represents the interests of all professionals in the air traffic control industry. Dedicated to the advancement of professionalism and technology of air traffic control, ATCA has grown to represent several thousand individuals and organizations managing and providing ATC services and equipment around the world. Published by
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Upcoming Events Nov. 1–4, 2015
ATCA Annual and CMAC National Harbor, Maryland atca.org/60annual
ATCA Bulletin | No. 10, 2015
March 8–10, 2016
World ATM Congress Recinto Ferial Juan Carlos Madrid, Spain
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TRAFFIC JAM AHEAD. PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
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This article most recently appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of the Journal of Air Traffic Control By Andrew F. Pitas, ATCA’s first president and principle founder
he idea of an Air Traffic Controllers organization came to me in 1955 while I was working in the Washington National Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). Some of the problems experienced by pilots and controllers had appeared in articles in aviation magazines. An American Airlines DC-3 Captain named Ace Robson sometimes wrote about air traffic control (ATC) problems but, for the most part, from the pilots’ perspective. Problems of controllers, their opinions, and suggested solutions or views were never covered. At this time the airline
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pilots already had representation through the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and general aviation pilots had representation through the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA). As controllers we had problems, but no one seemed to care, at least it appeared so to me. And to make matters worse, no one, or very few people in authority, understood our problems because the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) came under the Department of Commerce, while air traffic control came under its Airway Engineering arm. As a consequence, many budget and operational deci-
sions were made by people who had little or no ATC background and experience. Furthermore, ATC was a relatively new field, so the public knew very little about it. Thus, while those of us who were controllers enjoyed what we were doing, we often were frustrated by the lack of procedures and equipment to carry out our mission. We had the feeling that the public, and especially Congress, didn’t understand what air traffic control did, and lacked appreciation of what was needed in the system to keep up with rapidly increasing air traffic and the evolution occurring in the size, speed, and number of new aircraft
Early ATCA mmbers speak with ATCA principle founder, Andrew Pitas (second to left).
coming into the system. It struck me that we could not get recognition or understanding of what we did and what we needed without informing people of the importance of ATC in the economic and operational success of the air transportation system in the United States. The best way to accomplish that objective, it seemed, would be to form a union or some such organization to speak for the controller and to disseminate information to the public and Congress about the controller and the ATC system. I had several bull sessions about the
idea with other controllers in the tower who seemed to support some kind of group action. One of the first people among my contacts was a fellow controller â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Joe Moraski. Joe had been a meteorologist in the military and with Capital Airlines before he came to work in the tower. A member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), he suggested we might pattern our organization after it. We also talked to the former chief of the Washington Tower, Stan Seltzer, who encouraged us to form some kind of an organization on which the Government could call to present controller views during deliberations affecting the ATC system. In these informal discussions we also talked about the advisability of joining one of the existing government employee unions, thinking that we could get the union to exert pressure on Congress to provide more money for ATC and get the Civil Service Commission to recognize the need for better compensation of the people in ATC. As a result of these sessions, we created an informal organization and I volunteered to explore the advantages of joining a government union. From the beginning I must confess I was not pro-union, but I made an appointment with a repre-
sentative of the American Federation of Government Employees at its office near the corner of 18th & G Streets in northwest Washington, DC. Following the meeting I presented information about what the union could or would do for us to the group. After much discussion on all sides of the issue, we decided that a small work force, which ATC was at the time, would not fare well in a large, non-ATC government union. We then decided that we should form a professional association with the objectives of achieving recognition as professionals and educating the nation about the ATC system. Up to this time most organizational activity had been confined to the Washington control tower workforce because control tower operators held airman certificates and had to pass a yearly airman physical in order to work there. Others in the ATC system, such as those who worked in the en route center or communications service, did not have to do so to keep their jobs. Those of us who worked in the tower were concerned about job security, especially for those people who spent the better part of their career in the control tower, but faced the prospect of losing their jobs and retirement benefits because they no longer could pass the physical. This was ATCA Bulletinâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; |â&#x20AC;&#x201A; No. 10, 2015
aviation event that he agreed to serve the genesis for early retirement legislation without a salary until such time as the for controllers that ATCA later initiated. organization got on its feet. In the end we decided that we would The next thing we needed was have a better chance for recognition if we someone high up in the government represented all controllers and banded to open some doors for us to gain rectogether to include in our membership ognition and acceptance. Higher-level all of those who separated aircraft, meanCAA managers feared that ATCA would ing all controllers in control towers and become a disruptive labor union, even air route traffic control centers. though from the start ATCA made it Following a series of meetings in clear that its objective was to be a profesJanuary and February 1956, air route sional association. traffic control center (ARTCC) perAgain, based on advice from friends sonnel were brought into the planning process and the decision made to name the organization the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA). With this, we scheduled a formal organizational meeting for March 31, 1966 in the conference room of the Washington ARTCC, then located in Hangar 6 at Washington National Airport. Information about the meeting was spread by all means at our disposal, including interphones, personal phone calls, and word of mouth. Anticipating that the March 31 meeting would formally launch the organization, we set about looking for someone to run it. In deciding that to effective we would need to employ someone outside of the Government, we established the principle that the ATCA spokesperson should be someone unafraid of losing his job should the association’s views differ from those of Andrew Pitas hands out an award in the early days of the association. our employer, the CAA, which became the Federal Aviation in the aviation industry, we enlisted Agency in 1958. In addition to finding the help of Ozwald Ryan as General a leader for ATCA, we also had the task Counsel. Oz was retired, but had been of enlisting the aid and endorsement chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board of influential government and aviation and was well connected in the upper industry officials to support our organiechelons of the Government. As in the zational effort. case of Cliff Burton, we had to advise Oz Based on the advice of friends in that all we had to offer were great expecthe industry, we approached Cliff Burton tations and a promise of remuneration about being our Executive Director (the after we signed up members and collecttitle changed to President in 1981). ed dues. He, too, was intrigued with our Although retired, Cliff had been a conaims and agreed to come on board as the troller, had held high level management first General Counsel of ATCA. positions, and was well qualified for the The organizational meeting took job. We told him we didn’t have any place as scheduled. Forty-nine peomoney with which to pay him, but he ple, representing some thirty differwas so intrigued by the idea of being ent facilities or aviation organizations, part of what promised to be an historic attended. They included representatives 6
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of the Washington office of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA); its New York Regional Office ATC Branch; Headquarters United States Air Force; and the Air Transport Associations, as well as numerous controllers from up and down the east coast and as far away as Chicago and San Antonio. In addition, we received endorsements from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA). Participants in that first meeting adopted the ATCA Constitution and By-laws, made Cliff Burton the first Executive Director of ATCA, and appointed me President of the interim board and subsequently its first elected President (Chairman of the Board). I served more than 32 years on the Board. The first ATCA Bulletin was published on May 7, 1956, while the first issue of The Journal of Air Traff ic Control was published in July 1959 under the leadership of Stan Seltzer. I would like to thank all of the people and organizations who were so helpful to us as we launched an organization that some viewed with suspicion at the time. Now that more than 50 years have gone by and I have been conditioned by the realities of life, I doubt I would jump into the breach as I did then, but that is what is so wonderful about being young, naïve, and idealistic. While the organization has had to adjust to evolving conditions over the past 50 years, ATCA is a credit to its members past and present and to all of those who worked for and guided ATCA during good years and lean ones. It never entered our minds that ATCA would grow into the worldwide organization that it is today. I am privileged to have been a central part of it. Andy Pitas, a World War II Navy veteran, has been a resident of Lucketts, VA, since 1983. He received the Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award in 2002, ATCA’s highest honor. He is a recognized Elder Statesman of aviation for his significant and enduring contributions over the year. He retired from working part-time at ATCA in 2004.
Congratulations to the 2015 Winners of
ATCA’s Scholarship Fund! Category A – Gabriel A. Hartl Scholarship Winners
• Mitchell Rufer, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
Category B – Lawrence C. Fortier Memorial Scholarship Winners
Category D – Buckingham Memorial Scholarship Winners
• Jamie Helander, Guilford Technical Community College, Glendale, AZ • Alexander Spartz, University of Arizona, Greensboro, NC
• Allison Estes, University of Georgia, Macon, GA • Michelle Johnson, University of Iowa, St. Charles, IL • Katherine St. Clair, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN • Sierra Stewart, Penn State University, Ashburn, VA • Ozzarah Watson, Georgia State University, Midland, GA
Category C – Full-Time Employee Student Scholarship Winners
• David Whitney, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Kingsport, TN
For more information, visit atca.org/scholarship.
Let’s hear from some of the winners
“What amazing news! Thank you so much for your support! I am extremely humbled to be selected by ATCA and the Scholarship Committee – what a great honor.” – David Whitney
“I am speechless. Thank you so much for this scholarship!” – Alex Spartz
“I am humbled and honored to have been chosen as a recipient for a scholarship this year.” – Mitchell Rufer ATCA Bulletin | No. 10, 2015
his year, ATCA awarded 10 welldeserving air traffic control and aviation science students a total of $75,000 to help cover the ever-increasing cost of higher education.
ATCA Members on the Move Steve Carver, ATCA Member and Journal Editor-in-Chief, Joins CSC’s Engineering Team
teve Carver – longtime ATCA member and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Air Traffic Control – joined Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) last month as its Principle, Information Security Engineer. CSC, a global leader of next generation information technology (IT) services and solutions, was recently awarded the FAA Cloud Services contract valued at more
ATCA Bulletin | No. 10, 2015
than $108 million. As principle engineer for information security, Steve will be CSC’s security manager for FAA’s Cloud Service providing security oversight for the FAA Cloud Services (FCS) infrastructure, network, and overall design. He will provide direct technical support and oversight in the system’s design, implementation, and configuration, as well as test
solutions to safeguard the CSC network security – a key component of the FAA Cloud. Prior to joining CSC, Steve worked for Aviation Management Associates, Inc. and served the FAA for 36 years, where he was responsible for the information security program for one of the nation’s critical infrastructures – the NAS.
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ATCA Bulletin | No. 10, 2015
helping them to shape investment decisions. We employ a variety of disciplines, methods, and tools to partner with the FAA, helping to achieve future success for their programs—all at an exceptional value. • • • • •
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This Month in Aviation History On October 27, 1972 …
Enactment of Public Law 92-574, the Noise Control Act of 1972, defined the respective responsibilities of the FAA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the control of aircraft noise. EPA’s role under the act was to recommend noise standards to the FAA based on considerations of public health and welfare. The FAA, in turn, considered the recommendations, and determined whether the standards proposed by EPA were consistent with safety, economically reasonable, and technologically practicable, and subsequently take appropriate action to implement and enforce them. – FAA Historical Chronology
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ATCA Bulletin | No. 10, 2015
The ATCA Bulletin (ISSN 0402-1977) is published monthly by the Air Traffic Control Association. Periodical postage paid at Alexandria, VA. $5.00 of annual dues are allocated for the publication of the ATCA Bulletin. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ATCA BULLETIN, 1101 King Street, Suite 300, Alexandria, VA 22314. Staff Marion Brophy, Director, Communications Ken Carlisle, Director, Meetings and Expositions Ashley Haskins, Office Manager Kristen Knott, Writer and Editor Christine Oster, Chief Financial Officer Paul Planzer, Manager, ATC Programs Rugger Smith, International Accounts Sandra Strickland, Events and Exhibits Coordinator Ashley Swearingen, Press and Marketing Manager Tim Wagner, Membership Manager
1101 King Street Suite 300 Alexandria, VAâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; 22314
Officers and Board of Directors Chairman, Neil Planzer Chairman-Elect, Charles Keegan President & CEO, Peter F. Dumont Treasurer, Rachel Jackson East Area Director, Susan Chodakewitz Pacific Area, Asia, Australia Director, Peter Fiegehen South Central Area Director, William Cotton Northeast Area Director, Mike Ball Southeast Area Director, Jack McAuley North Central Area Director, Bill Ellis West Area Director and Secretary, Chip Meserole Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico Area Director, Rudy Kellar Europe, Africa, Middle East Area Director, Jonathan Astill Director at Large, Rick Day Director at Large, Vinny Capezzuto Director at Large, Michael Headley