Airline Dispatchers Federation.
Representing the professional interests of the Aircraft Dispatcher.

Remembering Mike Harkin

Mike was a steady volunteer for ADF and a dedicated advocate who enthusiastically touted the value and benefit of the roles of the aircraft dispatcher.  Most active participants at ADF in the 1990’s and 2000’s had the pleasure of working with Mike on safety projects involving Congressional initiatives. Mike was considered to be an “expert of the Hill” with many contacts in safety circles.  Many remember enthusiastic visits with Mike to the U.S. Capital as ADF endeavored to establish long term working relationships with Senate and House members and staff who were responsible for aviation issues, oversight and safety policies. A particularly proud moment came for Mike and the entire Dispatch profession when, on March 10, 2000, President Bill Clinton announced his strategy to reduce flight delays. ADF had been a collaborative partner during research for this initiative. ADF was privileged to participate in a pre-press conference meeting with President Clinton during the unveiling of the plan. At the time, Mike was ADF Executive Vice President and he stood on behalf of all dispatchers, an equal partner with other industry leaders in support of the collaborative effort.

ADF – President Emeritus, Mr. Giles O’Keeffe put it very well when he observed, ”Every dispatcher in the US owes Mike a debt of gratitude for the work he did through ADF, supporting the profession, all the way to the White House!”  

As a second generation dispatcher, and “a carbon copy of his dad”, according to Jim King (Transport Canada, retired), Mike will leave behind a strong legacy of dispatch loyalty and advocacy. Today’s airline dispatcher works in a safer environment, has more respect, and is better known and appreciated thanks to the numerous initiatives Mike voluntarily worked on through ADF and in other Industry arenas.  His calm, collected approach and his respectful treatment of everyone he encountered stood out: you never heard a disparaging word from Mike!

ADF sends thoughts of comfort to Cindy and family.  We will always remember how proud Mike was of his family; he’d often share pictures and family stories, which we loved hearing and sharing.  

We have lost an unsung hero of our profession.

The Airline Dispatchers Federation

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