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Jenn Lemmon
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Public Servants Extraordinare

Let me give you a few examples of co-workers that are going above and beyond. Adrian Rangel, an Airway Transportation Systems specialist and environmental technician at the Corpus Christi Support Center, came up with a way to repurpose air-conditioning units and an old trailer that were being excessed by combining them to create a self-contained portable spot cooling system. The 12 1/2-ton system can be powered by gas or commercial power and can cool about 60,000 square feet of building space, allowing facilities that lose power due to severe weather or for any other reason access to air conditioning. Learn more about Adrian’s efforts by watching this ATO Spotlight.  

On the night of January 20th, a pipe leading from the fire suppression pump at Seattle Tower burst, pouring nearly 30,000 gallons of water into the base building. The pressurized water lifted floors, filled elevator shafts and damaged equipment before it was shut off. Fortunately clean-up and restoration could begin right away, and for four days our folks worked together non-stop to clean debris, assess damage and restore the facility—all without disruption to air traffic services. We produced this ATO Spotlight to shine a light on this remarkable effort.

This past October, Boston Tower controllers avoided a potentially serious accident. A Piedmont Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft lined up to land on an occupied taxiway at Boston Logan Airport. The plane was approaching closer and lower than normal and didn’t have its landing lights turned on. Controller Ross Leshinsky, with help from controller Eric Knight, spotted the problem and ordered the pilot to go around. The aircraft flew right behind a JetBlue plane on the taxiway and in front of two other aircraft on another taxiway, before reentering the air traffic pattern and landing safely. The skill, experience and teamwork of several controllers on duty that night contributed to the safe outcome, with Ross and Eric receiving NATCA’s 2017 President’s award for their efforts. Because of incidents like this one, the ATO put wrong-surface landings on our 2017 Top 5 Hazard List.

I also want to recognize some of the great work our employees have done for NextGen modernization. We completed the implementation of Data Comm Departure Clearance Service at 55 airports throughout the country. And last summer, we completed STARS deployment at our 11 largest TRACONs, and their associated control towers, as part of TAMR’s Phase 3 Segment 1 program.  

As you can see, ATO co-workers are making major accomplishments in support of our public mission. But we know there’s more great work to be recognized and I’d like to ask for your help to do that. Nominations for this year’s ATO NAS First, People Always awards are being accepted now through May 31, 2017. Please consider nominating any individuals or teams that you admire for their outstanding contributions and accomplishments.

Thanks everyone!

Teri L. Bristol
ATO Chief Operating Officer

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