Sept. 30, 2016 // Facility Spotlight: Houston Intercontinental ATCT
There are 41 NATCA members at the level 12 Houston Intercontinental ATCT (IAH). The tower was commissioned in 1996 and is responsible for Class B airspace, eight miles in diameter of the airport from the surface to 4,000 feet.
IAH works closely with Houston TRACON (I90), Tomball D.W. Hooks ATCT (DWH), Houston Hobby ATCT (HOU), and Houston Center (ZHU).
According to FacRep Will Hutson, IAH controllers work a vast spectrum of aircraft ranging from small helicopters and Cessna 172s, all the way up to the world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380 superjumbo.
“IAH is, without a doubt, a dynamic facility,” says Hutson. “From the summer thunderstorm season, to low level pipeline inspection routes that fly right through the heart of our Bravo airspace, the work is challenging, fun, and rewarding.”
Houston has seen unprecedented growth over the last several years, which has drastically increased the amount of special events the city has and will continue to host. Last March, Houston hosted the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four and is now preparing to host Super Bowl 51 in February 2017. Convention 2020 will also take place in Houston, something the membership is thrilled to take part in.
The added demand and complexity created by these events just further highlights the strong relationships that bind the local area facilities. No matter the task, Hutson explains that the locals all work together to maintain the integrity and efficiency of the system.
Hutson says that IAH proudly participates in the annual NATCA Houston area Crawfish Boil and other local solidarity events. Local members recently held a family appreciation day at the facility, which was a huge success. It was an opportunity to bring family and friends to the workplace and show them the incredible job the workforce does everyday.
“The sacrifices our families make to support us in this profession are often unrecognized,” says Hutson. “Family appreciation day finally allowed us to say thank you by providing food, facility tours, and even a shot at being an air traffic controller for a day in our tower simulator. “
Hutson says that it is no secret that IAH is an amazing place to work, which explains why their ERR list is often one of the largest in the country. IAH also happens to be NATCA strong, with over 95 percent membership.
“We have several members that are serving on various regional and national committees,” Hutson says. “Representing the professionals at IAH has been the greatest honor of my career. Their talents, dedication, and spirit make being FacRep extremely rewarding.”