Inaugural Solidarity Cup brings together US & UK Unions to benefit charities
By Mike MacDonald
NATCA Region X Vice President
For the past several years, air traffic controllers and engineers from the United Kingdom and the United States have worked together to promote our respective professions. We have visited each country’s facilities and exchanged our ideas and perspectives to further the safety of our respective airspace systems. We have done all of this in the spirit of collaboration and solidarity. Earlier this year, we also worked together to help create the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance to bring together unions which represent aviation safety professionals and advocate for their status and working conditions.
As the relationship has grown, it has become clear that the solidarity that exists between Prospect ATCO’s Branch and NATCA is ready to move to the next step. The idea of a Solidarity Cup golf tournament, modeled after the Ryder Cup, was conceived in the UK and the challenge was readily accepted in the U.S.
This inaugural 2018 Solidarity Cup is more than a friendly competition. It solidifies the relationship of our associations and establishes an opportunity to continue to build on that relationship with the ultimate goal of improving the global airspace system.
Our first competition will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 4 at the Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales, in the beautiful Usk Valley. This was the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup which was won by the Europeans. Each team will bring 12 players to play in a modified Ryder Cup format; four-ball matches on Days 1 and 2 and singles (going off in 2 games per tee time) on Day 3.
I join my brothers and sisters in the U.K. in stating that the sides look forward to a great event that will hopefully be the first of many to raise funds for our respective charities while promoting and cementing the bonds within the air traffic profession worldwide.
I am honored to serve as the captain of the U.S. team.
Mike MacDonald, Captain (Region X Vice President)
Steve Abraham (retired, New York-JFK Tower)
Bob Aitken (Engineers New England)
Sean Carreras (Fort Lauderdale ATCT)
Sean Davis (Southern California TRACON, SCT)
Phil Hughes (Boston TRACON)
Kyle Kirchheiner (Fort Lauderdale ATCT)
Andy Lewis (retired, Rochester ATCT)
Kevin Maney (New York TRACON)
Moe Scoville (Boston Center)
Jim Ullmann (retired, Seattle Center, current Safety and Technology Director)
Steve Weidner (Minneapolis Center)
Stan Parulski (Pensacola TRACON)
Paul “Boogie” Bugarin (SCT)
NATCA Charitable Foundation Liaison
Jenn VanRooy (Denver Center)