I recently attended the 2023 NATCA Communicating for Safety (CFS) Conference in Las Vegas, September 18-20, 2023. I went alongside Steve Reynolds, VP of Air Traffic Systems, and Mary Kay Snyder, VP of Engineering Services, to explore partnerships, engage with Air Traffic Controllers and Engineers, aviation industry service providers, and enhance my awareness of air traffic controllers’ needs and current focus.
CFS provided insight into what this extensive group is focusing on, their priorities, and how to get a pulse on what matters to them, which is an essential asset to us at LST but also crucial in our work supporting our customers.
From the three-day event, some noteworthy sessions I attended here Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow; Staffing the Full Picture, Training – Changing Perspectives: Changing the Mindsets About Things That Feel and Appear Negative, But Are Not; How Air Traffic Can Continue to Lead, Learn, and Become Better Prepared Through Training; and FAA Funding and Policy Priorities: What’s In It for Us?
But my favorite part of the entire conference was the Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards Banquet, which takes place on the last evening and is probably what every attendee remembers in vivid detail. This award highlights several aviation “saves” – involving either a single controller’s efforts or an entire team. The stories are filled with inspiring and heroic saves from each award winner. During the event, you can actually hear the recording of the conversations between the controllers and the pilots; it’s very chilling and has a lasting effect.
Finally, there was an energy and level of commitment from the attendees to the panelists, which was contagious. Overall, it was an outstanding conference!