NATCA Honors Members’ Finest Work at Annual Awards Banquet

- Las Vegas, USA

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) will honor air traffic controllers involved in nine flight assists from around the U.S. at the 11th annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards.

Named for the first air traffic controller, the NATCA Archie League Medal of Safety Awards honors the top examples of skill, dedication and professionalism demonstrated by NATCA members in the previous year. Each honoree saved a life or lives in emergency situations.

Every day, air traffic controllers keep us safe and sound, seamlessly,” says NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “Controllers will say it’s routine, but these assists are remarkable and life saving. These men and women provided help during incredibly tough moments; they demonstrated an unbelievable combination of skill, quick thinking and grace under pressure. We are proud to recognize their exemplary efforts.”

The honorees include a Houston TRACON air traffic controller who provided assistance to a pilot stuck above the clouds in terrible weather for two hours and was getting low on fuel; a controller at Potomac Consolidated TRACON who prevented a collision between two aircraft flying under visual flight rules; a Central Florida TRACON air traffic controller who spotted a pilot heading directly into the path of a commercial aircraft and prevented a collision; and two Boston Tower air traffic controllers who prevented a runway collision between two commercial aircraft.

These award winners went to work ready to handle anything,” says NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert. “They relied on their training, their skill, their team and their supreme professionalism. These incidents all ended safely because of the controllers using every available tool at their disposable. They were determined to do whatever was needed. Congratulations to them on their incredible performances.”

The awards ceremony will stream live on http://www.natca.org, beginning at 8:15 p.m. PST.

The 2015 Archie League Medal of Safety Award winners are:

Alaskan Region: Parker Corts, Anchorage Center

Central Region: Travis Arnold, Omaha TRACON

Eastern Region: Joseph Rodewald, Potomac Consolidated TRACON

Great Lakes Region: Justine Krenke, Adam Helm, and Mike Ostrander, Green Bay Tower/TRACON

New England Region: Kelly Eger and Sarah LaPorte Ostrander, Boston Tower

Northwest Mountain Region: Mark Haechler, Al Passero and Matt Dippe, Seattle Center

Southern Region: Sarina Gumbert, Central Florida TRACON

Southwest Region: Hugh McFarland, Houston TRACON

Western Pacific Region: Jesse Anderson, Brackett Field Tower

Information about the award winners, their stories, and the audio recordings of the events, with transcript, are available HERE.

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