Take a Stand for Safety Learn more about a new NATCA/FAA joint safety campaign focused on IFR/VFR conflict resolution in this week's message from ATO COO Teri Bristol.

ATO COO Teri Bristol

Hi everyone. Happy New Year! With 2017 underway, we remain committed to driving down safety risk and improving the ways we identify and address safety concerns. Our controllers are among the most highly-skilled professionals in the world, and we use the FAA-NATCA led Recurrent Training program to reinforce core skills and address national safety trends.

The next release starts this month. In instructor-led training, we’ll cover the following topics: Safety Culture, Recovery and Mandatory Reporting Requirements. These training sessions are an opportunity to have meaningful discussions and strengthen relationships with our peers and managers.

In web-based training, we’ll cover the following topics: Airspace and Procedures, Altitude Compliance, IFR/VFR Operations, NOTAMs, Special VFR and Weather.

For each round, topics are determined by the ATO’s Safety Roundtable which includes representatives from labor and management. By looking at safety data collected over the past six months, the Roundtable selects topics that will address the most pressing risks in our system. I encourage controllers and managers to fully engage in Recurrent Training and to continue to report safety concerns.

You may have noticed that two of this round’s topics: NOTAMs and IFR/VFR are also on our 2017 Top 5 list. Recurrent Training allows us to address these concerns in the facility, while procedural and technological solutions are worked on at the national level.

We are reinforcing our national focus on IFR/VFR conflict resolution through our collaborative Take a Stand for Safety campaign. Close proximity IFR/VFR events are occurring in all air traffic environments. Even as pilots flying VFR are required to see and avoid traffic, we can’t make the assumption that they consistently will. Together, the FAA and NATCA are addressing myths like these and encouraging controllers to call traffic, issue safety alerts and work with pilots to avoid IFR/VFR conflicts.

The campaign launches next week. Look for discussions on the Partnership for Safety and QA/QC webinars, videos, an infographic, and controller recognition stories that highlight great examples of conflict resolution.

I want to thank all of the teams and workgroups who keep our safety culture thriving. We maintain the safest most efficient aerospace system in the world through collaboration and commitment at every level of our organization.

Thanks everyone,

Teri L. Bristol

ATO Chief Operating Officer

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