The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) is pleased that air traffic controllers were dropped from the NTSB’s Top 10 Most Wanted safety list issued November 14. Two ATC-related issues, fatigue and pilot/controller professionalism were added to the Top 10 list in May 2011. Natca’s president Paul Rinaldi said the Board’s move to remove those two topics validates the efforts both the union and the FAA have made to address the problem areas. “Our sole focus is the safety of the system,” he said in a news release.
Natca says it has worked with the FAA to mitigate fatigue issues by altering controller work schedules to add additional rest time, while also raising awareness of the fatigue issue itself, as well as signing on to a data-driven fatigue risk management system recommended by a Natca/FAA working group.
Natca organized a national professional standards program in 2010 to monitor controller professionalism on the job while maintaining accountability standards and a watchful eye for examples of exceptional professionalism.