Ed Donaldson


Ed Donaldson

Ed Donaldson is the Deputy Vice President, Air Traffic Services. He advises and assists with executive direction, planning, management, implementation, oversight, and continuous monitoring of Air Traffic Services Operations. The scope of responsibility is broad, critical in nature and directly influences the safe and efficient operation of national air traffic control services. The Deputy Vice President advises and assists the Vice President of Air Traffic Services in providing management, direction, guidance, and oversight of national air traffic operations. The incumbent provides advice and guidance to the VP and management oversight to ensure Air Traffic Services policies and operations are directed towards improving levels of services to customers across the Air Traffic Organization (ATO). Ensures the standardization of air traffic services functions across the ATO in order to optimize resources, improve problem solving, and eliminate redundancies.

Previously, he served as the Director, ATO Safety and the Manager of the Capital Terminal District. This role encompassed air terminal air traffic facilities in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. He was responsible for the daily operations and administration of some of the most high profile and complex air traffic facilities in the National Airspace System. His district consisted of 22 air traffic control facilities, including Washington National, Washington Dulles, Baltimore Washington-Thurgood Marshall International, and the Potomac Tracon. The district also includes Andrews Air Force Base, home of the Presidential aircraft-Air Force One. He was responsible for about 700 employees and an annual operating budget exceeding $100 million.

In 2011, Ed was detailed to the U.S. State Department as an International Air Traffic Training/ Safety Advisor to the Government of Afghanistan. He provided expert consult and mentoring to an emerging Afghanistan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MoTCA) to bolster the management, sustainment, and modernization of Afghan airspace and procedures. Additionally, Ed mentored, coached, and advised the Afghan Air Traffic Management division Manager on hiring qualifications, controller training, staffing and management, safety management, security and organizational structure. At the end of this detail, Ed was selected as the Air Traffic Manager at BWI ATCT and later as Assistant Manager for the Capital Terminal District. 

His accomplishments during that time included the successful expansion of the Afghan ATS organizational structure by designing and implementing the Afghan ATM Training and Operations divisions and training the Division Managers to assume control. He developed the first ever Afghan Air Traffic Service standards for On-the-Job Training for Instructors and Watch Supervisors. Despite the continuously hostile environment, Ed worked with key U.S. Embassy senior management officials to create, implement, and manage a 3-year, $10.4 million Afghanistan Air Traffic Controller/ Flight Safety training program. 

In December 2010, Ed was selected as an Event Investigations Manager (EIM) with ATO Safety at FAA headquarters. Ed used his advanced technical knowledge of the National Airspace System to conduct initial investigations highly complex aircraft accidents, near mid-air collisions and major service disruption incidents which received significant media interest.

Ed began his FAA career in 1991 after completing the screening process at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City; and being assigned to the Baltimore Washington-Thurgood Marshall Tower (BWI). Since then, he served as an Air Traffic Controller at both Washington National Tower (DCA) and the Potomac Tracon (PCT), as an Air Traffic Supervisor at DCA, and as an Operations Manager at Orlando International Tower (MCO).