Young Aviation Professionals

What is YAP?

ATCA's Young Aviation Professionals (YAP) is a group focusing on developing the industry’s newest leaders. Industry representatives have partnered with the Air Traffic Control Association to further your career. Its mission is to foster the next generation of aviation leaders by empowering young professionals with the knowledge, exposure, and relationships to tackle critical aviation challenges over the course of their careers.

ATCA’s Young Aviation Professionals (YAPs) pose
in the DCA terminal after the Tower Tour.


ATCA’s Young Aviation Professionals (YAPs) showcase their skills
in the YAP Tower Talks presentations at the ATCA Annual.

Recent and Upcoming YAP Events

Watch: Lunch & Learn Online with Red Hat's Sebastian Dunne 6.17.20


 Wednesday, June 17, 2020  12 p.m. ET/ 9 a.m. PT
“The Cloud” is now a mainstream platform for running IT systems. But contrary to some early expectations, 
and the government’s Cloud First policy, not every system is bound for the cloud. Why is that? What do we mean by Hybrid Cloud or Multi-Cloud and how can they help ATM and the aviation industry? During this Lunch and Learn we’ll discuss the business and technical reasons to consider these architectures for critical systems.



Tuesday, March 31, 2020  5:30 pm

Zoom Online Meeting

Join Us For Our First Online YAPPY Hour - Register Today!

Hey! Are you an aviation professional, young or young at heart? Are you stuck at home teleworking? Are you sick of not being able to hang out with your friends and coworkers? Are your kids driving you crazy? Are you tired of buttoned-up, never-ending video and teleconferences? Do you just need someone--ANYONE--to talk to?

If you've answered yes to ANY of these questions, join us for our first ever virtual YAPPY Hour! All you need is a smart device with a camera and a beverage of your choice.


RSVP for Log-in Details


Thursday, September 26, 2019  5-8 pm

Capitol Gallery West Tower - Rooftop

YAP Rooftop Reception - Join us - Register Today!

Once a year, over 100 young aviation professionals and seasoned industry leaders alike gather on the beautiful rooftop terrace of 600 Maryland Ave., SW. There, big names and soon-to-be big names meet, mingle, and create professional connections in a relaxed atmosphere. 

We're pleased to welcome you all again this year. As the industry changes, along with faces and titles, we're excited to once again connect the people who connect the world's airspace. 


Make some friends. Move the needle on your career trajectory. Join us at the next Rooftop or any of the other YAP events for access to these aviation leaders, both young and young at heart!

YAP Lunch & Learn
Thursday July 25, 2019

Hosted by:
 Cavan Solutions
600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 306 East
Washington, DC 20024

If you think your job is overwhelming, imagine being the chief architect of the National Airspace System (NAS)! 

The FAA's Mike Hritz is responsible for drafting the roadmap for our future airspace (no big deal, right?). Hear from Mike himself at ATCA's next YAP Lunch & Learn on Thursday, July 25 at 11:30 a.m. 

Mike Hritz's position falls under the FAA's office of NAS Systems Engineering Services. Their mission is to design and maintain the NAS Enterprise Architecture, and provide systems engineering and safety leadership to bridge the gap between the present and future NAS. 

Join other ATCA members and YAPs on July 25 to get a status update on our future NAS.

Tuesday June 4, 2019 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Frequentis, Columbia Maryland

YAP Open House
Hosted by: Frequentis USA

8661 Robert Fulton Drive
Suite 10
Columbia, MD 21046 click here for directions

ATCA's Young Aviation Professionals (and those young at heart!) are invited to tour the Frequentis USA office with interactive stations, demo stations, and visuals you won't see outside the lab!

While guests can network and walk around freely, behind-the-scenes stations will be on display:
  • Innovation Lab
  • Production Floor
  • Training Center
  • Life Cycle Support Labs
  • NAS Interoperability Lab
  • HR Info Point: "Travel the World"

Thursday, October 18, 2018 

Capitol Gallery West Tower - Rooftop

YAP Rooftop Reception

Once a year, over 100 young aviation professionals and seasoned industry leaders alike gather on the beautiful rooftop terrace of 600 Maryland Ave., SW. There, big names and soon-to-be big names meet, mingle, and create professional connections in a relaxed atmosphere.

This year, we were pleased to welcome you all again. As the industry changes, along with faces and titles, we're excited to once again connect the people who connect the world's airspace.


November 7, 2018 

YAP Field Trip: FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center

Today was a great reminder that the US National Airspace System (NAS) is above all, really cool.


Air Traffic Control Association's Young Aviation Professionals (YAP) were treated to a tour of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) in Warrenton, Va. The ATCSCC, a.k.a. the FAA’s Command Center, is the only facility of its kind in the world. While it doesn’t directly control traffic, it oversees more than 43,000 flights and 2.5 million airline passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace (making up a little more than half of the world’s air traffic).

Its primary focus is balancing system capacity with demand. It’s where the FAA crafts and implements solutions to NAS-crippling situations (think grounding all aircraft immediately following the Sept. 11 attacks and creating work-arounds for the 2014 Chicago Center fire).


Much like air traffic control, a great deal of the Command Center’s work is carried out seamlessly without the public knowing about issues. For example, just this week, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) suffered an ATC Zero situation when they lost radar for about an hour.

The Command Center – through its 24/7 operation including the National Weather Service, airports, en route centers, security, stakeholders, the Tactical Customer Advocate (TCA), and technical operations – quickly handled it without major interruption to NAS operations.


The facility is busy transitioning from a traffic flow command center to becoming a full FAA command center, which is set to be complete in 2019. Our group was even treated to a sneak peek at the Command Center’s new space operations room, set to be officially unveiled at a dedication ceremony tomorrow.


Visiting the Federal Aviation Administration Command Center was such a pleasure and a major check off my aviation bucket list. - Kristen Knott, Managing Editor and Writer, ATCA

YAP Committee


Katie Kondub

Lee Weinstein







Jonathan Fath
Harris Corporation

Phil Yeung

Rocio FrejVitalle
CSSI, Inc.


YAP Rooftop Reception: September 14, 2017

Young aviation professionals and seasoned industry leaders alike gathered on the beautiful rooftop terrace of 600 Maryland Ave., SW. Big names and soon-to-be big names met and mingled in a relaxed atmosphere.
Check out some of the pictures from the event below and see more on our flickr page HERE

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

YAP July Lunch & Learn: ATC 101 with RTCA's Al Secen

 See Al's presentation HERE.

YAP Panel at ATCA's Tech Symposium 2017:

Continuing the dialogue about our industry and how we fit in.


YAP Rooftop Reception 2016: It’s amazing where a conversation can lead

ATCA’s Young Aviation Professionals (YAPs) said goodbye to the long summer’s humidity and hello to their 75+ closest friends. The mood was ebullient (word of the day perhaps?) and for once, the weather cooperated. Everyone was thrilled to once again stand outside without sweating profusely and it showed; it felt like a reunion of old friends. In the span of a half hour, and without much effort, I got another article for ATCA’s 
Journal of Air Traffic Control (shameless plug here), an idea for a future YAP event, copious photos of the Capitol sans scaffolding, some truly spectacular meatballs, and vented about our industry’s overuse of the word collaboration. It was glorious and, dare I say, fun (even though I was technically working).

That’s the thing about networking (another overused word): The best kind happens without hardly trying. You find a kindred spirit on a roof and suddenly you have another friend. You see that friend at the ATCA Annual, and then again at World ATM Congress March in Madrid, Spain – okay, I’ll stop). And what links them together? A simple but stellar conversation you had at the YAP Rooftop Reception. 

In the end, it shows that our events aren’t all that different. They’re all forming a dialogue about our industry and where we fit in it. 

ATCA's Annual Rooftop Reception 2015

Thank you to all the YAPs who came out to the Annual Rooftop Reception! Interested in attending more YAP events? Sign up to receive our emails.


Knowledge: Providing the leader of tomorrow with access to events and information to foster knowledge.

  • Experiential learning events
  • Speaker Series
  • ATCA access (with benefits such as the opportunity to serve on committees, receive The Journal of Air Traffic Control, and much more).

Exposure: Providing young professional access and exposure to leaders in the aviation profession.

  • Roundtables with the leaders in aviation
  • ATCA volunteering opportunities
  • An annual Event involving meet-ups with the VIPs in Industry

Relationships: Providing a network for young professionals with diverse backgrounds.

  • Networking Happy Hours
  • Philanthropic Volunteering Opportunities

YAP routinely looks for sponsors to support our work. Sponsorships are event-specific, and we strive to provide outstanding recognition to those who enable our events.

If you have access to a unique facility, would like to invite YAP members to an existing event, or would like to speak on a topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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  • Welcome to the ATCA
  • Welcome to the ATCA
  • 06 Jun 2018
    Hon. Linda Hall Daschle Named 2018 Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award Winner

    The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) is pleased to announce that former FAA Acting Administrator Linda Hall Daschle has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, one of the most prominent awards in aviation and ATCA’s highest honor.

    A pioneer for women in air traffic management, Daschle was the first female to hold the post of Acting Administrator for the FAA. She began her aviation career in Kansas nearly 45 years ago as a licensed weather observer for the agency. In 1993, she was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the US Senate for the position of FAA Deputy Administrator. One of her first tasks involved an assessment of the agency’s key air traffic modernization program called the Advanced Automation System which was eventually overhauled, saving the agency an estimated $1.6 billion. She also oversaw the advancement of new regional airline safety regulations and conducted a review of the agency’s safety and surveillance program, which resulted in one of the single largest hires of new safety inspectors in FAA history. 

    Ms. Daschle has held numerous government and private-sector leadership positions, including with the American Association of Airport Executives, the Air Transport Association, the former Civil Aeronautics Board, and with the law firm of Baker Donelson. She is currently President of LHD & Associates, Inc, and serves on the board of Aireon, LLC.

    In accepting the Glen A. Gilbert Memorial Award, Ms. Daschle joins aviation greats, including Delta’s Richard Anderson, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, the Hon. Jane Garvey, Boeing’s Neil Planzer, former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, and pilot A. Scott Crossfield. (View press release HERE.)

    Tickets will be available this month. For more information, visit

    Established in Washington, D.C., in 1956 by a group of air traffic controllers, the Air Traffic Control Association has been from the outset dedicated to progress in the science of air traffic control and the preservation of a safe flight environment.
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