Donald M. Taylor Aeronautical Academy
An affiliation of Lets Go Up to the 21st Century
The mission of the Donald M. Taylor (DMT) Aeronautical Academy is to provide a structured environment which will enable students to pursue careers in aircraft flight, air traffic control, aircraft mechanics, and airport services.
Donald M. Taylor
Donald M. Taylor was born November 8, 1935 in Washington D.C. He attended District of Columbia public schools and graduated from Cardozo Senior High School in 1954.
Don joined the United States Air Force in that same year where he received training as an Aircraft Specialist. After his discharge in 1958, he was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an Air Traffic Control Specialist and assigned to the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center, then located in Hangar Six at the former Washington National Airport, now Reagan National Airport.
He received advanced training as an Air Traffic Controller at the Oklahoma City Federal Aviation Administration Academy in Norman, Oklahoma. In April 1963, he married the Patricia Aldrich to whom he remained loving and steadfast until his death in November 1984.
In 1963, the Air Route Traffic Control Center was relocated to Leesburg, Virginia. During Don’s tenure in the FAA, he was a Training Instructor, Air Space Specialist, Military Liaison Specialist, and Acting Supervisor.
Don was the President of the original Coalition of Black Air Traffic Controllers Union formed in 1968. After the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) strike of 1981, Don organized and was on the Board of Directors of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association which is today is the recognized union by the FAA.
More than anything, for over 20 years, Don Taylor was one of the most noteworthy people influencing the FAA’s decision to promote racial equality for women and minorities within the Agency, and those yet to be hired.
During his career, the number of minority controllers increased from less than 20 nationwide to over 1200, prior to the strike of 1981. Hundreds of qualified minorities, who probably would have been passed over for promotions, were promoted as a result of his efforts.
Just a small portion of his legacy is reflected in the immediate Washington Metropolitan area by having had minorities in positions as managers in all of the major air traffic control facilities.