Transportation Experts Blog


Paul Rinaldi

Biography provided by participant

Paul Rinaldi began his three-year term in October 2009 as the sixth president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association following his three-year term as NATCA Executive Vice President. Prior to his union national office service, Rinaldi spent 15 years working as an air traffic controller at Washington Dulles Air Traffic Control Tower (IAD). Upon beginning his career in 1991, Rinaldi was immediately drawn to representing the hard-working men and women at IAD. He was elected as vice president of the facility's local NATCA chapter in 1995 and then a year later became the Facility Representative. In 2003, Rinaldi accepted the challenge to represent the entire Eastern Region and agreed to serve as the region's alternate vice president. Rinaldi has spent his entire Federal Aviation Administration career working tirelessly on behalf of union members. His leadership as IAD Facility Representative resulted in 100 percent of the bargaining unit members becoming dues-paying NATCA members. Because of his experience and knowledge in labor relations, Rinaldi was asked on two occasions to serve as a member of NATCA's National Contract Team. Rinaldi has also served the union as an Eastern Region Third Level Grievance Team member, a trained arbitration advocate since 2000 and an air safety investigator from 1997 to 2006. In addition, he served many responsibilities in the opening of the Potomac Consolidated Terminal Radar Approach Control facility, which brought together control of the terminal airspace for the entire Washington, D.C. area under one roof. Enjoying unprecedented success with winning grievances on behalf of NATCA members both locally and regionally, Rinaldi has negotiated countless agreements with the agency on a variety of issues, all resulting in a better quality of life for the membership. Moreover, Rinaldi has extensive Congressional and media experience and has been an outspoken advocate for air traffic controllers on the national stage. Rinaldi attended the University of Dayton from 1983-86, where he majored in business management and is currently in the process of completing his degree. Prior to embarking on his career as an air traffic controller, he was a manager for a securities courier company in New York City from 1987-91. Rinaldi and his wife, Debra, his high school sweetheart, are the proud parents of sons Anthony and Nicholas and daughter Olivia. The family lives in Manassas, Va.

Recent Responses

March 18, 2013 08:27 PM

The FAA’s mandated half-billion dollar cut to its operations budget over the remainder of FY13 is very serious. Simply put: The National Airspace System is a national treasure and sequestration will destroy that treasure.

Already, there is a hiring freeze in place and the FAA plans to shut down its training academy in Oklahoma City. Furloughs are now scheduled for every FAA controller and employee beginning next month; 11 days for each one every two weeks. Worst of all, this Friday we’ll find out which air traffic control towers the FAA will soon close. This holds enormous negative ramifications not only for the local pilots, communities and economies that rely on those airports, but also will create additional and potentially unmanageable burdens on the FAA radar facilities that work those airports at a time when this vicious cycle of sequestration will mean reduced staffing at those facilities.

This is no way for Washington, D.C., to run what is the world’s safest and most efficient system. And if our concerns about increased flight delays are r

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February 25, 2013 03:09 PM

Last Friday’s announcement from the FAA unfortunately confirms the concerns we have been warning about for months – sequestration will significantly and perhaps permanently undermine the capacity of the National Airspace System. The fact that they will not just be furloughing critical FAA personnel but closing air traffic control towers means the system will be even more compromised than anticipated. We share the FAA’s commitment to preserving the safety of the system despite these draconian cuts. Safety is always the top priority of air traffic controllers, but the reality is this - safety will be preserved at the expense of operations across the country. Once towers are closed, the airports they serve may be next. Additionally, we believe the delay estimates provided by the FAA are conservative and the potential for disruptions could be much higher.

Every one of these actions by the FAA will have an impact far beyond inconveniencing travelers. Local economies will be diminished, military exercises will be cancelled and jobs will be lost. There’s n

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