Founded in 1976, the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) is the largest employee association of the Federal Aviation Administration. For over 45 years we have promoted equal opportunity, provided support and advocacy for African Americans, minorities, and women employees. The NBCFAE comprises eight geographical Regions in the United States with 26 Chapters worldwide.
Black air traffic controllers gathered in Washington, DC to discuss starting a black controllers union. The primary goals were to increase the number of black controllers in the FAA system and to seek promotions for some of the senior controllers who had never been considered. They decided to unite locally, with plans to eventually expand as a national organization. During the next few months, elections were held and the Washington Chapter of Coalition of Black Controllers (CBC) was formed. Most of the efforts for these first few years were concentrated on recruitment and advancement for those who were eligible for promotion to first and second level supervisory positions.
Several members of the Washington Chapter of CBC travelled to the San Francisco/ Oakland Bay Area to discuss improving training, upward mobility and recruitment of additional black controllers in the agency.
In San Diego, California, six air traffic controllers representing a larger group felt it necessary to unite nationally to resolve problems that were not being effectively addressed by labor organizations or various EEO programs.
The national constitution and by-laws were ratified and the CBC felt a need to address not only air traffic controller issues but also other FAA occupations. Thus, the CBC’s name changed its name to the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE). The NBCFAE’s focus was addressing incidents of discrimination in the workplace against African Americans.
The FAA detailed specific guidelines to all regional and Center Managers for interaction between the agency and the NBCFAE known as the “Interface Letter”.
The first National Convention was held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This convention included seminars on leadership, awareness, and career development and featured EEO Special Emphasis Coordinators from FAA Headquarters and Regional offices.
The NBCFAE experienced a devastating blow when its membership numbers decreased to 176, due to the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike.
the C. Alfred Anderson Award was established and there was a banquet held in honor of Mr. Charles Alfred "Chief" Anderson, America's first African American man to receive a private pilot's license (1929). The NBCFAE Coalition motto: "Let each become all they are capable of being” and elements of the Coalition Logo we introduced. The FAA and the NBCFAE began talks for Tuskegee Institute to become the first Historically Black College to offer a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering.
The NBCFAE produced its first quarterly publication "UPDATE", followed by "UNITY”, "Visions“, and now “UMOJA”, a monthly electronic newsletter.
Corporate Membership was developed and approved
The NBCFAE started its National Scholarship Program. The first six recipients were awarded $1,000 each. The NBCFAE also began awarding the Ron E. McNair scholarship honoring the African American astronaut that died during the launch of Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. The NBCFAE also began to have several annual awards. The awards were as follows: Bronze Eagle, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award, FAA Manager's Award for Special Performance in NBCFAE, Chapter of the Year Award, Special Achievement, and Region Special Recognition Award.
The first Leadership Training Conference was held at the Lincoln Hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The FAA held its first employee association meeting. At the request of the NBCFAE, the meeting was to eliminate employee dissatisfaction, provide leadership training and development for coalition members, and to assure collaboration in the development, initiation, and implementation of new agency policies. .
NBCFAE established www.NBCFAE.org and the Bessie Coleman Award. Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman to hold a pilot license. NBCFAE joined the International Black Aerospace Council (IBAC). NBCFAE partnered with NAACP Federal Sector Task Force, which resulted in the FAA issuing a Zero Tolerance Policy for Discrimination and the Model Work Environment Leadership Strategy and Action Plan to address the EEO complaints backlog and a more timely process to resolve EEO complaints. NBCFAE also began hosting Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academies and participated in the Forum Task Force that developed "A Business Case and Strategic Plan" addressing the underrepresentation of minorities, women and people with targeted disabilities and resulted in the FAA’s Affirmative Employment Oversight Board (AEOB).
C-SPAN provided media coverage of the NBCFAE National Training Conference, which gave world prominence to the NBCFAE and highlighted the Coalition’s struggle for a model work environment.
The NBCFAE Strategic Plan was produced and the President's Commission Committee was implemented.
The NBCFAE Mamie W. Mallory Scholarship Foundation was established, incorporating the organization’s non-profit entity. The NBCFAE also implemented the first on-line training process and established special training tools for the National Executive Board. The Advisory Council also stood up as an avenue to make recommendations to the National Executive Board to ensure a viable future for the organization.
The Strategic Plan was updated and based on NBCFAE recommendation the FAA adopted and implemented the Program for Emerging Leaders (PEL). PEL targeted full-performance employees who aspired to management. The program became part of the FY 2009 FAA Flight Plan and addressed agency-wide leadership development needs and specific requirements of FAA lines of business and staff organizations.
Formal processes for the Mamie Mallory Education & Scholarship Foundation were established with its own Board of Directors independent of the NBCFAE Executive Board, and IRS non-profit tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] status was restored.
NBCFAE and the Rainbow Push Coalition signed a cohesive agreement to partner on EEO Affairs.
NBCFAE gained the first international members and established the NBCFAE Nigeria Unit.
NBCFAE and PWC, travelled to Nigeria to host the first annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa. The NBCFAE transitioned to electronic voting. The first digital magazine featuring African-American Managers in the FAA was published by the NBCFAE and shared in FAA Focus. NBCFAE participated on a Rainbow Push panel, led by DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.
Rainbow Push Attorney Janice Mathis was instrumental in successfully settling a Class Action complaint with the FAA reimbursing lost funds and restoring lost leave to employees whose leave had been arbitrarily cancelled in conjunction with attending the NBCFAE 2012 National Training Conference.
The NBCFAE held quarterly meetings with Secretary Foxx. The Employee Association Forum worked together to build a business case for the FAA Administrator requesting an amendment for conference attendance in the Human Resource Policy Manual. The result was an increase in the number of excused leave hours offered to FAA employees for employee association conferences.
The NBCFAE met with several congressional members in a series of Capitol “Hill Day” visits to discuss the effects of the 2019 government shutdown and to secure over $3.5 million for the FAAs Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Internship Program. The NBCFAE renamed the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award the “Donnie Simon Equal Employment Opportunity Award”.
The NBCFAE for the first time ever rescheduled its National Training Conference due to COVID-19.
The NBCFAE resumed its National Training Conference. It was successfully held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The NBCFAE awarded over $100,000 in scholarships!
Launched the 2023-2026 NBCFAE Strategic Plan.