You Say Service Area, I Say Service Center – They Get the Job Done
We used to have nine Air Traffic and Technical Operations regions across our national airspace system, and each had their own set of employees providing training and staffing support, business planning, flight procedures and other services in every location. About a dozen years ago, we realized there was duplication in the system and we could provide enhanced services by combining people with these similar areas of expertise into fewer locations. Our facilities are still getting the same great services, but the providers aren’t necessarily sitting in the same regions with them anymore.
Now that we have more than a decade of experience with matrixed teams and the shared services model, and the Service Centers’ responsibilities have grown, our Mission Support Services organization is taking a look at how we can enhance the services from our technical shared-service providers even more, especially under constrained budgets.
Kim Stover, most recently the director of air traffic operations for the Western Service Area, and Natasha Durkins, recently acting director of the Central Service Center, are at headquarters working with Mission Support Vice President Jodi McCarthy to ensure that the Service Centers are fully leveraged for the skills and knowledge they provide. They’re working closely with Service Center directors Angela McCullough in Eastern, Andy Atchley in Central, and Clark Desing (on detail) and Kevin Stewart (acting) in Western.
Some of the key areas they are looking at are alignment, integration and communication. They are working with other ATO service units to ensure better alignment to meet their customers’ needs by reviewing and identifying core functions together. They expect to improve integration and ensure clarity in roles and responsibilities to reduce duplication and improve efficiencies. And they plan to improve communication between the Service Centers and headquarters to ensure we consider impacts to field facilities when we develop policy and strategy.
These efforts will help us all continue to evolve and grow together as our airspace continues to change, and will ensure the employees who count on services have their needs met.
We all rely on Service Center experts for so many things, from congressional inquiries, financial management and project planning and execution to quality control and airspace classification, just to name a few. During hurricane season especially, we’re reminded of how our Service Center employees are indispensable with catastrophic event preparation and crisis response coordination efforts.
I hope you’ll take some time to understand how your work connects to the Service Centers and consider ways we can all continue to improve how we integrate and work together as efficiently as possible to make our airspace the best it can be.