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Chet Kisling papers

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Chet Kisling papers

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Chet Kisling:

A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881

May 24, 2006

Profile Description

Creation: EAD version 1.0 finding aid created in XMetaL 4.5 by William Hardesty, May 2006.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator:Kisling, Chet
Title:Chet Kisling papers
Dates: 1978-1996 (bulk 1981-1982)
Quantity: .83 linear ft. (in 2 boxes)
Abstract:Chet Kisling (born 1943) worked as an air traffic controller at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center in Hampton, Georgia. A member of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), he was fired after the organization's 1981 strike, along with 11,000 other U.S. controllers. The bulk of his papers consist of clippings, documentation of the lawsuit he was party to regarding his dismissal, and correspondence.
Identification: L2005-17


Organized into subject files during processing; clippings were arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content of the Papers

Printed material, primarily clippings, as well as correspondence, notes, and legal documents, make up the papers of air traffic controller and PATCO member Chet Kisling. The papers document the period of the PATCO strike as well as Kisling's pursuit of employment as an air traffic controller over the following years. The bulk of the papers consist of a collection of newspaper clippings documenting the strike. Legal documents, correspondence, and notes relate to the case heard in Atlanta by the Merit Systems Protection Board, Former Air Traffic Controllers: Tommy Barbee, et al. v. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. Notes and correspondence by Chet and Patsy Kisling document their efforts to secure assistance from their Congressional representatives, particularly Representative Newt Gingrich. Correspondence and newsletters from PATCO's national office, as well as the Atlanta-based Local 101 and the PATCO South regional office, make up a small part of the papers. Newsletters from the organization PATCO Lives, 1984-1991, document the effort of some fired air traffic controllers to pursue their cause. A small amount of printed material shows the interest of other unions and attorneys in the PATCO action.

Biographical Note

Chester William (Chet) Kisling was born in 1943 in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated Hapeville (Georgia) High School and attended Massey Business College and Georgia State University. Kisling began his career as an air traffic controller in 1968. Working at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center in Hampton, Georgia, he reached the rank of Air Traffic Control Specialist. Kisling joined the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) in 1973 but was not an active member of the union. When PATCO went on strike against the Federal Aviation Administration in 1981 in violation of federal law, Kisling did not actively strike but supported his fellow controllers by his absence from work. President Ronald Reagan ordered that the more than 11,000 striking and absent controllers be fired and prohibited from being hired in any Federal position. Kisling participated with six colleagues as an appellant in a U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board hearing in 1982 (Tommy Barbee, et al. v. Federal Aviation Administration) and closely followed efforts in 1986 to make the fired controllers eligible for rehiring, which finally occurred in 1993.

Chet Kisling and his wife, Patricia (Patsy), had two sons. They lived in Jonesboro, Georgia, when he worked at the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Kisling, Chet--Archives
PATCO Lives (Organization)
United States. Merit Systems Protection Board
Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (Washington, D.C.)
United States. Federal Aviation Administration. Southern Region.
Air traffic control--Georgia.
Strikes and lockouts--Air traffic control--United States.
Air Traffic Controllers’ Strike, United States, 1981.
Air traffic controllers--Labor unions.
Legal documents
Air traffic controllers


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Administrative Information


Chet Kisling donated his papers to Phillip LaPorte, Labor Studies Program, Georgia State University.


[item], [folder title], Chet Kisling Papers, L2005-17, Southern Labor Archives. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Phillip LaPorte, August 31, 2005.

Processing Information

Processed by William Hardesty, May 2006.

Related Material

Related materials in this repository: Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) records, Southern Labor Archives.

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