NATCA Bookshelf

National Office Week in Review: August 8, 2017

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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Page 7 of 24

COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT NATCA REMEMBERS PATCO BROTHERS AND SISTERS ON 36 th ANNIVERSARY OF STRIKE Union members of the Professional Air Traffic Co ntrollers Organization (PATCO) went on strike on Aug. 3, 1981, in hopes of safer work conditions, reliable equipment, adequate staffing levels, and fair work and pay rules. Last week, on the 36th anniversary of the strike that began on Aug. 3, 1981, we hon ored their sacrifice and legacy. Read below: Message to the NATCA membership Press release NATCA JOINS FAA, ALASKA AIRLINES IN SEATTLE PRESS EVENT TO TOUT DATA COMM TECHNOLOGY NATCA Data Comm National Rep Jim McAllister and Seattle (SEA) Tower Data Comm local rep Heidi Gilbert participated in a very successful press event last week to promote the benefits of the new NextGen technology at one of the nearly five dozen ATC towers to use it thus far. The media coverage reflected a very positive feeling about the progress made on Data Comm: Aviation International News : "Pilots and controllers have used text messaging for more than one million f lights under the FAA's Data Comm program, belying criticism that the agency's NextGen ATC modernization effort is a failure. The FAA and prime contractor Harris have provisioned 55 airport towers for data communications as the program moves to 20 centers t hat manage high - altitude traffic." Read more. Avionics Magazine online : "The FAA's Data Comm, a controller - to - cockpit mod ernization program for domestic U.S. airspace, is now being used on 36,000 flights per week at 55 airports and has cleared a total of one million flights since its inception." Read more . KING - TV Seattle : "Data Comm, a FAA communications system to instantly convey often complex routing data to the cockpit computers aboard airliners, started at Sea - Tac airport back in October. It began its initial national roll out in January of 2016. On Wednesday, the FAA publicly showed off what it claims is a technology program that's millions under budget and two years ahead of schedule. Call it texting if you will, but what the FAA has now implemented on nearly half of all a irliners flying in the country is expected to make flying safer, not less so. Pilots aren't typing in individual letters with their thumbs. Usually, only a couple of button pushes is all it takes to review and acknowledge routing instructions known as clea rances sent to the flight deck by air traffic controllers, now, electronically." Read and view more . IMPORTANT NATCA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE The National Executive Board sent a legislative update to all members last week discussing the current topics that affect our membership. Included: "We continue to oppose cuts to federal employee benefits and retirement programs that would harm both active and retired NATCA members, as these cuts are unacceptable and could exacerbate the staffing crisis to emergency levels in some facilities and across the NAS." Please click here to read the update . DO YOU HAVE LEGISLATIVE - RELATED QUESTIONS OR NEED INFORMATION? If you would like more information about any legislative issue, please contact your regional NATCA Legislative Committee chair. The ir contact information may be found here: - center/legislative - contacts .

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