Kristin Bunnell, (center) receives the ATCA Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of Jim Bunnell on October 2nd, 2018. The award was presented by Charlie Keegan (left), chairman of ATCA and Pete Dumont (right), president of ATCA at the ATCA Annual Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
Each year at the Air Traffic Control Association annual event, awards for achievements in the development, operation, or maintenance of the worldwide air traffic control system are presented. The ATCA program also highlights one individual for a lifetime of achievement. This year, that honor went to James Bunnell.
Bunnell started his career as an air traffic control officer in the United States Navy, serving his country for more than 24 years. He became a key leader and outspoken requirements advocate in the DoD-FAA Joint Program Office that managed the massive modernization of the National Airspace System. After his retirement from the Navy, Bunnell continued his career, holding numerous industry related positions while continuing his leadership role in the ATCA organization.
Over the years, his dedication and devotion to furthering the air traffic control and the aviation industry led him to champion many efforts. Most recently at Raytheon, Bunnell worked to establish a $50,000 Women in Aviation Scholarship Program with ATCA to help bring more talented women into the aviation field by removing the hindrance of cost that could potentially slow them down. He also championed last year’s return of the ATCA-sponsored Navy-Marine ATC symposium, which was designed to enable young sailors and Marines to more fully embrace their current and future careers in our industry. This event was so well attended across DoD that it is now expected to become a bi-annual event and expand to all military branches.
Bunnell’s love for the industry makes these efforts, along with many others, just another way that he would give back and encourage others to push the aviation industry forward.
Bunnell, who passed away in August 2018, will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him and by those that benefited from his passion for an industry he loved so much. The honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award at ATCA was accepted by his wife Kristin Shea Bunnell.