The Federal Aviation Administration named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new chief operating officer of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which is responsible for managing the U.S. ATC system. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the appointment in an email to employees on March 21.
Bristol was most recently deputy COO and had served in an acting capacity since former COO David Grizzle left in December. The FAA appointed Grizzle to the post in July 2011, following the resignation of Henry “Hank” Krakowski over a series of incidents involving controllers sleeping on duty. The ATO is structured as a performance-based organization within the FAA; it manages nearly 80 percent of the agency’s $9.6 billion operations budget and more than 32,000 employees, half of them controllers.
In 21 years with the FAA, Bristol has held a number of executive positions, including vice president for technical operation services, vice president of the ATO service center, director of terminal mission support, director for terminal air traffic operations in the western service area and director of terminal program operations.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) welcomed the appointment. “The collaborative relationship developed and strengthened by Natca and the FAA over the past four years has become one of the strongest and most successful examples of labor-management partnerships,” the controllers union said. “Bristol’s work with Natca as ATO deputy COO has contributed largely to the success of this collaborative relationship as well as to the progress of NextGen modernization efforts.”
The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists AFL-CIO (Pass), which represents FAA system specialists, safety inspectors and other employees, issued a similar congratulatory statement. “Pass recognizes the importance of appointing Teri Bristol as the next COO of the Air Traffic Organization. We have worked with Ms. Bristol for years and appreciate her professionalism, expertise and focus on the employees. When she served as Technical Operations vice president, Ms. Bristol was pivotal in improving the relationship between labor and management,” said Pass national president Mike Perrone.