New Leadership For NATCA

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Pat Forrey will be the new president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) starting Sept. 1, replacing John Carr, who took office in September 2000. Forrey has worked as an air traffic controller at Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center for 18 years. The election campaign spanned a contentious time for the organization, as the leadership tried fruitlessly to negotiate a complicated contract with the FAA. Forrey said he will develop strategic long-term plans for the organization and engage diplomatically with the FAA, Congress, industry groups, and others. "My philosophy has many facets, but the main premise is this: Dialogue is imperative to solving problems," says Forrey in a statement on his Web site. The FAA issued a statement on Monday congratulating Forrey for his win. "We look forward to working with Mr. Forrey in the months and years ahead. There are many challenges facing the aviation system and we're looking toward a renewed spirit of professionalism, cooperation and mutual respect," the FAA said. Forrey says he will refrain from "personal attacks against others, and reactionary tactical initiatives that can best be described as crisis management." The antagonistic approach of labor vs. management is outdated and ineffective, he says. "I believe in building bridges to achieve success. ... A new approach to workers rights, living wages, job security and economic freedom are overdue in America, and I believe NATCA can show the way." Forrey will serve a three-year term.