Home > Home > Media > NR 31 2016
Five NAV CANADA employees earn international air traffic control awards 
(Ottawa, October 20, 2016) – NAV CANADA is proud to announce that several employees have been duly recognized for their outstanding accomplishments by the Washington D.C. based Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA). The awards were presented during the 61st Annual ATCA Conference and Exposition held in National Harbor, Maryland from October 16-19 2016. 

L to R, Jeff Barry, Jim Daher, Matthew Nych, Bob Miller and Jeff Cochrane

“To see our people rewarded for their outstanding efforts and contributions by ATCA is personally gratifying and a source of pride for all of us at NAV CANADA,” said Neil Wilson, President and CEO. “It is appropriate that the four different award categories align closely with our company’s mission to provide safe, efficient and cost effective air navigation services and a professional and fulfilling work environment for our employees. 

“Congratulations to the winners. These awards speak volumes of your achievements and demonstrate work that goes above and beyond,” said Wilson. 

The ATCA awards were presented at a luncheon on October 17 as part of the ATCA Annual Conference. The following employees were presented with awards (Biographies attached below):

Jeff Cochrane: The William A. Parenteau Memorial Award
This is a Medallion Award presented to an individual for an outstanding achievement or contribution during the previous year, which has added to the quality, safety, or efficiency of air traffic control.

Jim Daher: The David J. Hurley Memorial Award for Aviation Traffic Management
A Medallion Award presented to an individual working in the field of Aviation Traffic Management for outstanding achievement or contribution in the area of ATC collaborative decision making, balancing air traffic demand and capacity, or maximizing airspace and airport use, which has added to the quality, efficiency and/or safety of the Global Airspace Systems.

Bob Miller: The General E.R. Quesada Memorial Award
A Medallion Award presented to an individual for an outstanding achievement or contribution during the previous year as an ATC Manager.

Jeff Barry and Matthew Nych: The Chairman’s Citation of Merit Award
The Chairman of ATCA’s Board of Directors awards Chairman’s Citations of Merit to recognize exemplary work in air traffic control over the past year and beyond, and for overall enhancement of and contribution to ATC and the aviation community.

NAV CANADA is the country’s private sector civil air navigation services provider. With operations from coast to coast to coast, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.

Jeff Cochrane, Director, Navigation and Airspace

On July 1, 2014 Gander Oceanic observed a transatlantic carrier transmit a series of valid ADS-B positions that indicated the aircraft deviating from its flight planned route and continuing on a diverging course to a point 38 nautical miles from its intended path. However, the reports were false and the aircraft was actually on the correct course. Consulting with colleagues around the world, Jeff Cochrane discovered that this was the first in a number of similar observations on this aircraft type. As this was an aviation safety issue with potentially global implications, Jeff took the lead on identifying the cause and finding a resolution.

Suspecting a fault in the aircraft’s avionics, he coordinated with his international contacts, to discover this was indeed the case. Jeff recommended that NAV CANADA take appropriate action and on February 27, 2015 customers operating this type of aircraft were notified that separation using ADS-B Out would not be applied on affected aircraft until the avionics fault had been corrected. Jeff’s leadership on this issue has had a positive impact on the safety of air traffic control, while ensuring continued confidence in ADS-B as a surveillance technology.

Jim Daher, Shift Manager, Winnipeg Area Control Centre
Inspired by his experience on the Canadian Aviation Safety Officer Partnership (CASOP), Jim Daher believed the spirit of this national initiative could be applied locally, in the Winnipeg Flight Information Region. CASOP assembles safety officers and managers from all sectors of the Canadian aviation industry, to share information, raise safety concerns and recommend solutions. Jim’s vision was to bring together airlines, flight schools and military aviation with the air traffic controllers and flight service specialists who provide service to these customers every day. He began by contacting customers throughout the Winnipeg Flight Information Region, to solicit interest in what he dubbed “Safety Bear-Pit” sessions. Their objective is to share information, discuss safety concerns, and address the multitude of day-to-day operational topics that don’t get elevated to the level of a CASOP meeting.. Coworkers and customers alike have praised Jim’s effort and view these open, face-to-face meetings as both innovative and productive. They have provided a forum for collaborative decision-making and have resulted in tangible operational and safety improvements.

Bob Miller, Site Manager, Springbank Tower, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat Flight Service Stations
At sites under Bob Miller’s management, the staff view him as a people-focused leader who does everything possible to foster an engaged workplace. They speak of “the little things” Bob does that add up: treating everyone with fairness and respect; being generous of his time, whether it be for coaching or offering guidance and support; getting to know them and their families personally and showing that he cares about and appreciates them; building a sense of teamwork and community; and recognizing and celebrating milestones. Comments from some of his staff include, “Bob has created an environment where, to a larger extent than I have seen elsewhere, there is a sense of teamwork and community and caring among his staff,” and “He brings a touch of humanity to his position that is rewarded with loyalty.” In short, Bob grasps that people really are the company’s greatest resource, and he lives that belief every day.

Jeff Barry, Project Manager, Electrical Services
Matthew Nych, Manager Electrical Power System Engineering
Jeff Barry and Matthew Nych were responsible for the design, development and construction of a new Dual Redundant Powerhouse, which provides a more reliable and robust power supply for air traffic control equipment at the Toronto ACC. This was the largest and most complex power system project ever undertaken at NAV CANADA, the delivery of which was critical to the ACC’s operation and the provision of uninterrupted service to customers in Canada’s busiest airspace. As construction project manager, Jeff managed a flurry of issues as they arose, always maintaining fidelity to project scope, schedule and cost. And Matthew, as lead engineer, took ownership of the design, working through value engineering cycles, managing issues from engineering consultants and equipment suppliers, resolving key system performance issues and supporting Jeff through the construction cycle. Their unwavering dedication and persistence was instrumental to bringing this technically complex project to a successful conclusion.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Bishop
Director, Government and Public Affairs

Ron Singer
National Manager, Media Relations

Media Information Line: 1-888-562-8226