NBAA, NATCA Salute FAA’s Teri Bristol for Leadership in Public Service

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) both recognized (FAA) Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Teri Bristol on her decades of public service, including a federal career that began in 1992 with the Department of Transportation. She will be retiring at the end of February.

NBAA President and CEO, Ed Bolen said, “Teri has been a thoughtful, dedicated professional who has moved our industry forward. We are grateful for her leadership, and we wish her all the best.”

Teri Bristol

As a champion for continued development of the nation’s Next Generation (“NextGen”) Aviation System, Bristol has led the FAA’s NextGen Executive Board and NextGen Advisory Committee. Bristol has also been an advocate and role model for women, having been the first woman to hold her current leadership position, and the first woman to hold her previous three positions. She has been instrumental in FAA efforts to recruit and retain women and minorities to key positions in air traffic control, and across the agency.  

“Teri has always respected aviation safety professionals working at all levels of the ATO and the unions that represent them,” NATCA President Rich Santa said. “She had a very successful career at the FAA, and for the last decade – first in her role as deputy COO and then COO since 2014 – NATCA has been privileged to partner with her. She is a strong, inspiring leader for whom we have great respect.”

“The success of our collaborative relationship with the FAA over the last dozen years is a shining model for the federal government and has been built on trust and integrity,” continued Santa. “Teri demonstrated those positive traits and many more. We are proud of the incredible work we accomplished together for the benefit of the safety of the National Airspace System and the employees who safeguard it. We thank her for her leadership. We will miss working with her, and we wish her the very best.”

One example of Bristol’s commitment to the air traffic controller and aviation safety professional workforce was her steadfast support of NATCA’s annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards. Named for the first U.S. air traffic controller, the awards honor the best controller saves of pilots in emergency situations. Bristol attended every Archie League Medal of Safety Awards banquet, held at NATCA’s annual Communicating For Safety conference, during her term as COO. She delivered keynote remarks to begin the awards banquets in both 2018 and 2019, focusing on training and supporting the next generation of controllers.

Bristol at NBAA in Orlando in 2016. SAJ photo.

In a 2020 interview for NBAA’s Business Aviation Insider magazine, Bristol described how business aviation representatives have long provided valuable input toward the agency’s daily management of the National Airspace System, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we understand air traffic demand forecasts for high-volume business aviation locations – such as Teterboro [NJ], Southern California and South Florida – that can be very helpful, as business aircraft pilots can provide flexibility in climb, routings and altitude adjustments,” she said.