For Immediate Release

Release No. AWP5-0104
July 6, 2004
Contact: Donn Walker
Phone: (310) 725-3580

HAWTHORNE, CA — The Federal Aviation Administration's Golden Gate Systems Management Office (SMO) has received one of the agency's top national awards for its performance during the past year. The Fremont, CA, organization operates and maintains all FAA air traffic control equipment in much of California and throughout the Pacific Ocean.

The Golden Gate SMO was named the 2003 Systems Management Office of the Year. This honor recognizes the SMO's work in maintaining and improving aviation safety. In all, 33 offices nationwide competed for this award.

The Golden Gate SMO and its 200 employees are responsible for operating, maintaining, and modernizing more than 3,000 FAA installations and equipment covering Northern California and about a third of the Pacific Ocean. The facilities and equipment include complex radar, automation, communications, navigational aids, and environmental systems. Pilots and aircraft use these facilities and equipment for navigation and communications with air traffic controllers.

"This accomplishment is the result of highly skilled and dedicated technicians, engineers, administrative staff, supervisors and managers who take seriously their responsibility for operating and maintaining the facilities and equipment that keep America's aviation system the safest in the world," said Vaughn Turner, Manager of the Golden Gate SMO. "They are truly the best of the best."

Steve Zaidman, the FAA's Vice President of Technical Operation of the Air Traffic Organization will present the award to the Golden Gate SMO during a ceremony in Fremont, CA.

The Golden Gate SMO also received a commendation from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, as well as proclamations from several Bay Area mayors, including Jerry Brown of Oakland, Ron Gonzales of San Jose, Gus Morrison of Fremont, Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, and David Smith of Newark. U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein also issued proclamations honoring the Golden Gate SMO.