NBC News reporter Tom Costello was presented with the James Oberstar Sentinel of Safety Award at #NATCACFS2019 on Sept. 18, 2019.

NATCA created the Sentinel of Safety Award as a way to honor those outside NATCA who have displayed outstanding achievement in the advancement of aviation safety. In 2014, at our Biennial Convention in Minneapolis, NATCA proudly renamed the award to honor Congressman Oberstar, who had died earlier that year. Congressman Oberstar was a tireless advocate for aviation, air traffic control, and NATCA during his time in Congress and as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Costello’s quarter century of national and international reporting has earned numerous awards including national and regional Emmy awards, and multiple Edward R. Murrow reporting honors. 

Costello has covered aviation for the past 14 years, including the 2009 Miracle on the Hudson, last year’s fatal engine explosion onboard a Southwest Airlines flight, and the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes and subsequent MAX fleet grounding. One of his first stories in 2005 when he moved to the NBC News Washington Bureau was about the first winners of NATCA’s Archie League Medal of Safety Awards.

Costello has also covered a wide array of stories across the beats of transportation, space exploration, cybersecurity, and economics. In 2017, his coverage of deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville earned NBC News an Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Tom’s reports appear across all NBC News platforms, including online, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, and CNBC. In fact, he was on duty as CNBC’s Nasdaq Editor in Manhattan on 9/11. Before joining NBC News in 2004, Costello spent six years at KUSA-TV in Denver, and two years at KVIA-TV in El Paso, TX.

View video of this award presentation.