Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO)

The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) was formed in 1968 to represent the interests of federally employed air traffic controllers. Their objectives were to promote the profession; to improve working conditions for air traffic controllers within the United States, its territories, and possessions; and to represent members in dealing with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) concerning grievances, personnel policies, and practices. In 1981, though as federal employees it was illegal for them to do so, PATCO members went on strike. Over 11,000 controllers were subsequently dismissed.

The collection consists of the records of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization from 1968-1985. They include minutes, resolutions, subject and chronological files, correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, legal files, contracts, press releases, grievances, arbitration, and printed materials. The records reflect the organization’s efforts in improving the working conditions of air traffic controllers regarding wages, pension plans, and shorter work hours. Click here for more information about the union and their records.

About the Project

In December 2010, The National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) awarded a grant in the amount of $90,102 to Georgia State University Library, which contributed an additional $115,871, to digitize portions of PATCO’s records and make them available online. The records are part of Georgia State University Library’s Southern Labor Archives. Work on the digitization project was concluded in June of 2013, coming in under budget with a total of $187,180.76 spent to digitize 173,835 pages at roughly $1.08 per page. All documents in the nine digitized series are now freely available online.

Browse Finding Aids and Digitized Records

Series I: President’s Files, 1968-1982* (link to digital files)

Series II: Vice President’s Files, 1972-1982* (link to digital files)

Series III: Regional Vice President’s Files, 1968-1978* (link to digital files)

Series IV: Director’s Files, 1960-1982* (link to digital files)

Series V: Strike Files, 1972-1985* (link to digital files)

Series VI: Central Office Files, 1967-1984* (link to digital files)

Series VII: Membership Files, 1968-1981

Seres VIII: Financial Records, 1968-1981

Series IX: Conventions, 1969-1981* (link to digital files)

Series X: Arbitration and Grievances, 1969-1982

Series XI: Regions and Locals, 1968-1982* (link to digital files)

Series XII: Accident Files, 1970-1982

Series XIII: Safety and Health Files, 1957-1982

Series XIV: Public Relations and Newsclippings, 1968-1982

Series XV: Publications, 1968-1985* (link to digital files)

Series XVI: Legislative Files, 1969-1982

Series XVII: Subject Files, 1964-1985

Series XVIII: Legal Files, 1966-1983

*Only nine of eighteen series will be digitized for this project.

Related Information and Resources

PATCO Curriculum Guide

PATCO Digitization Procedures

Related Collections


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