Washington State Liaison

Ray Ballantyne was born into an aviator family as his father was a WWII CG-4A Combat Glider pilot who met his mother at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX while she was training to be a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilot). Ray earned his pilot’s license before he got his driver’s license. “I thought I was cool in high school giving friends airplane rides,” he says.

He was hired by the FAA as an Air Traffic Control (ATC) specialist in 1977 and assigned to the small Flight Service Station in Cut Bank, Montana. His first flight into Schafer Meadows, MT the summer of 1979 started a lifelong love of backcountry flying. His 34 year ATC career included several towers in Alaska – Bethel, Fairbanks, Anchorage and Merrill – while also doing some part time commercial air taxi flying at Bethel and Fairbanks; and Colorado Springs. Moving from Alaska in 2000, he was the Terminal Hub Manager for Oregon working at the Portland ATCT/TRACON. 

After a stint in the Regional office in Seattle, he served as the Quality Assurance manager for Los Angeles ARTCC. Leaving there for duty at the national FAA Headquarters in DC, he finished his career as Senior Advisor to the Western Service Area Terminal Director in Seattle.

A couple of unusual air traffic assignments placed Ray on a Coast Guard cutter in Prince William Sound, and on the bridge of the Exxon Valdez during the 1989 oil spill. During Alaska’s Iditarod Sled Dog Race he conducted temporary ATC at the Skwentna checkpoint.

“My wife Lisa and I are actively retired at our hangar-home in Sequim, Washington, and enjoy flying our GlaStar to magical airstrips around the Washington, Oregon and Idaho areas,” Ray says. Lisa serves the RAF as a VP of Appreciation. Ray is active with golf, his local EAA 430 chapter, and now has stepped up to join Dave Whitelaw as an RAF Washington State Liaison.

Ray can be reached at rballantyne@theraf.org.
(360) 808-6767


  1. Kenneth B Brown on March 23, 2020 at 12:22 am

    Happy Anniversary Ray. Wishing both of you the very best. Always.

Leave a Comment