31 March 2016: Joseph Teixeira, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Aviation Safety and Cybersecurity, was awarded one of the highest accolades in aviation safety at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)’s recent Communicating for Safety conference.
From left to right: Steve Hansen, NATCA National Safety Chair; Joseph Teixeira, Inmarsat Vice President, Aviation Safety and Cybersecurity; Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President and Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Given annually, the James L. Oberstar Sentinel of Safety Award honours an aviation leader outside NATCA who has displayed outstanding achievement in the advancement of aviation safety.
Introducing this year’s award, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said that the award is given to “those whose leadership in aviation safety has been historic, aggressive and courageous.”
During his tenure at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Teixeira implemented key programmes, in collaboration with FAA labour unions that changed the face of aviation safety.
These included a safety management system that uses operational data to proactively identify risk long before there is a safety issue; a voluntary safety reporting programme for air traffic controllers, technicians and commercial airlines that is the world’s largest today; new procedures and programmes that improve runway safety and surface operations, and the overhaul of new and recurrent training for air traffic controllers.
Many of Teixeira’s initiatives have won awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation and other industry groups for their improvement to aviation safety.
NATCA National Safety Chairman Steve Hansen, who worked with Teixeira in his many roles at the FAA, lauded Teixeira for his ability to collaborate, saying, “Even though we had disagreements, there’s not one issue we did not complete while we were working together.” He complimented Teixeira’s leadership skills and noted, “He’s willing to make the hard choices.”
In accepting the award, Teixeira thanked NATCA: “This is perhaps the most meaningful award that I could receive because it’s from you.” He praised the NATCA-FAA teams that worked together to advance aviation safety: “I met some very courageous people along the way. I developed great friendships, and for that I’m grateful. I was honoured to serve with you.”
Teixeira joins an impressive list of previous winners, including FAA Administrators, U.S. congressmen, senators and other high-ranking aviation safety advocates.
NATCA represents more than 14,000 U.S. air traffic controllers and professionals in air traffic management.