NEWSCLIP-2011-10-19: Top ATO Leaders Outline Vision at Managers Association Conference

ATO Chief Operating Officer David Grizzle and Deputy COO Rick Ducharme discuss their vision for the organization with FAA managers. Photo: ATO

October 19 — Visibility from top to bottom, accountability with dignity, and principles-based leadership will keep the FAA as the platinum standard in delivering air traffic services, ATO Chief Operating Officer David Grizzle and Deputy COO Rick Ducharme told the FAA Managers Association conference in Las Vegas Monday.

Grizzle and Ducharme sat down with FAA managers to talk about their vision for the organization, and highlighted the themes, habits, and values that will help keep the FAA at the platinum standard.

“We’ll make a deal with you. Our challenge is to effect change where needed and we’ll give you visibility from top to bottom; but you must do the same,” said Grizzle in stressing the importance of visibility.  “We need to know everything going on in your facilities, the good and the bad.”

Grizzle and Ducharme noted the rewards of coaching and mentoring employees as part of leadership.

They told the conference they are committed to sustained leadership in the ATO and taking a long-range view of careers as people move to new positions.

The top two ATO leaders discussed their vision for having the best management habits. This included the right people in the right seats at the right time, looking at the right dials through more effective metrics, and fulfilling commitments.

Grizzle and Ducharme also stressed the importance of collaboration with the end goal of achieving what is best for the agency.

The Air Traffic Safety Action Program is going in the right direction, they told managers.

And part of the reason for bringing Technical Training into ATO Safety in the new ATO realignment is because ATSAP data needs to be converted and rolled into training at the FAA Academy. Indeed, Ducharme stressed the importance of more rigorous training at the Academy, which could mean that the flunk-out rate at the Academy goes up but the washout rate at facilities goes down.

Earlier, Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., the ranking member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, opened the conference by commending FAAMA for acting swiftly to establish a nationwide Furlough Relief Fund that provided critical assistance to furloughed FAA employees by partnering with the Federal Employee and Education Assistance Fund after the partial shutdown in August.