How We Got Started:
Going Way Back…
My dad flew planes as far back as the 1930's and owned several of them. He also flew bombers in what was then, the army air corps, during WWII.
He even had a chance to fly Pan Am Clippers after the war but instead became a mechanical engineer working mostly on helicopters for Sikorsky, Kaman, and Bell so I grew up in a household steeped in aviation. My older brother got his license and I quickly followed suit.
I hired on with the FAA in 1982. One of the best jobs in the FAA is working live traffic as an en route air traffic controller. For adrenaline junkies, there’s nothing better! However, mid-career, I was fortunate to be selected to work for a great boss in the Southwest Regional Office for 5 years as an Airspace and Procedures Specialist.
Besides normal duties associated with the position there were several ancillary projects that fell into my lap. A favorite, which is still in the news today, was working on the possible effects of hazardous scientific and DOD lasers that could penetrate navigable airspace. It was my first taste of going above and beyond my normal duties and I loved it!
I retired at the ripe old age of 50. I considered the FAA as much of a family member as my own wife and kids and have always strived to make it better. I couldn't walk away from it and quickly began a career as a consultant at FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC. Yes, I know…how could you get anything done at FAA Headquarters? To my pleasant surprise there is no shortage of intelligent, dedicated employees that work to support our national airspace!
I quickly found out that forming my own company was the way to go. With the concurrence and interest of my wife, we formed Air Traffic Group, LLC. It is a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Economically Disadvantage Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) and a Minority Owned business.
Investment Planning and Analysis
Speaking of intelligent, dedicated employees, my current work has been in support of FAA finance’s Investment Planning and Analysis (IP&A). Our mission is to verify and validate FAA programs seeking funding. The group is comprised of a tight knit group of FAA employees and their contractor support led by very competent FAA managers and directors.
This job has allowed me to be a part of decision making related to the future of the FAA. As an operational subject matter expert, my responsibility is to ensure that IP&A’s business case analysts, cost analysts, scheduling analysts and operational researchers understand how the programs may, or may not, enhance and improve the way we move airplanes through the National Airspace System.
Some of the programs that I have been fortunate to work on include:
Performance Based Operations (PBN)
Advancements in aircraft navigational capabilities need to be optimized by ATC. Our infrastructure is moving away from some of our traditional ground-based navigational aids to space-based infrastructure. Programs such as the VOR MON