Welcome to Communicating for Safety



What started as an event with just 40 attendees in 1999 has now become the aviation industry’s leading conference, with over 1,000 attendees.

Annually hosted by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Communicating for Safety (CFS) is the organization’s premier safety conference focusing on safety, technology and building relationships with other aviation professionals. This three-day conference is unique in that it's the only conference of its kind to focus specifically on the air traffic needs of all members of the aviation community who are affected by the National Airspace System (NAS).


Included throughout the conference are presentations and forums given by top aviation professionals that concentrate on how to further improve communication and relationships among pilots, controllers and other professionals with a vested interest in aviation safety. Attendees learn about various topics, which include the effects weather and other environmental factors have on aviation safety, new technology and programs, professional standards, information sharing and safety reporting systems, pilot/controller communications, human factors and modernization efforts. Moderated panels with aviation stakeholders provide opportunities for CFS attendees to openly ask questions and discuss concerns with the panelists.


Numerous aviation leaders and stakeholders have attended CFS since it began. CFS 2012 in Atlanta marked the first appearances by both FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who both spoke about the future of the National Airspace System, their profound appreciation for air traffic controllers and for NATCA always being on the forefront of aviation safety. CFS 2013 boasted keynote speaker National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Deborah Hersman, who praised NATCA’s members for their dedication to excellence. CFS 2014 saw the largest and most diverse attendance in the conference's history, including in it speakers. The 2014 conference saw remarks from IFATCA President & CEO Patrik Peters, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker, and leading professional risk manager Gordon Graham. It also saw panels that included many domestic and international aviation leaders, including FAA Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol, RTCA President Margaret Jenny, National Business Aviation Association President Ed Bolen, NAV CANADA President and CEO John Crichton, Civil Air Australia President Daryl Hickey, Canadian Air Traffic Controllers Association President Greg Myles and more. CFS 2014 also saw the return of FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who made special remarks during the Archie League Medal Of Safety Awards banquet that closes CFS each year.


CFS 2014 also included a new “Build Your Own Agenda” portion during the afternoon session of the last day, allowing people to choose from various “tracks” of short presentations to attend throughout the afternoon. Topics included air traffic control training, converging runway operations, professional standards, electronic flight strips, remote towers, Data Communications and more. The conference also debuted interactive Twitter walls, displayed behind the main conference stage and throughout the exhibitor areas. Both features greatly enhanced the experience and engagement of conference attendees.

Each year, CFS concludes on a high note, with the Archie League Medal of Safety Awards. The only award of its kind, the Archie League Medal of Safety recognizes air traffic controllers who have handled significant and often dangerous air traffic situations with cool, calm professionalism. Though if you were to ask the award winners about it, most would simply say they “were just doing their job.”


CFS is brings together a wide array of aviation professionals, to discuss what's working, what's not and what can be further improved. Those who should attend this conference include air traffic controllers, general aviation and commercial pilots, airport executives, government leaders and aviation industry leaders.