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Meet Rich Santa

Rich Santa is currently the NATCA Eastern Regional Vice President and has been serving in this role since September 2018 after being elected by acclamation. Rich has been representing NATCA members in both elected and appointed roles for over two decades. 

Rich represents NATCA in many roles related to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that all NATCA members are safe at work while also maintaining the efficiency of the National Airspace System (NAS). Rich is the lead negotiator for COVID-19 Flexible Schedules that allows for social distancing. Rich also works closely with the Agency and oversees the Joint Crisis Action Team (JCAT) in addressing COVID cases and issues nationwide. Rich works to develop strategies for a safe and methodical return to normal operations as well as ensuring that CDC health guidelines are implemented and followed.  

Rich is the current Chair of the Internet Technology Committee (ITC) and recently developed the NATCA Election Support Committee (ESC) to assist facilities with their Local elections. Rich serves as a National Representative on collaborative work groups including Air Traffic Operations Management System (ATOMS), Collaborative Steering Committee (CSC), National Validation Team (NVT), the new traffic counting and pay level calculation program (ABACUS), and the National Centralized ERR Placement Team (NCEPT). Rich is also a member of the Grievance Review Team (GRT). 

A Strong History

Rich started his FAA career in 1997 at New York TRACON (N90) after being hired as a CTI student from Community College of Beaver County. He then transferred to Washington ARTCC (ZDC) in 2001, where he was first elected as an Area Representative and then served four terms as Facility Representative during the White Book and the Red Book. Rich has also served as the National Representative for WMT Scheduler, CRU-X, CEDAR, Falcon, and Automated Sign-In Sign-Out (A-SISO).  

Rich worked to establish an Onboarding process for newly elected NATCA representatives and has previously served as an instructor for the NATCA Academy. Rich served as the Alternate Regional Vice President under Dean Iacopelli and has been fortunate to learn from and work alongside Paul Rinaldi and Trish Gilbert, two pillars of our organization.  

During the senseless 35-day government shutdown, Rich conducted many national and regional news interviews urging Congress and the Administration to end the shutdown. 

Rich is originally from North Hills, PA and currently resides in Hagerstown, MD. Rich enjoys dirt biking in Western Maryland and Virginia, playing ice hockey, and loves cats. However, he does have a special place in his heart for his loyal K-9 companion Keira. 

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