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Fri, Oct 03, 2003

NATCA President John Carr Still Complaining

"FAA Bill Needs to be Fixed by Restoring Privatization Ban Which Was Passed by Full House and Senate"

Despite the fact that much of the industry still doesn't have much, if any, objection to the very limited contract towers provisions in the latest FAA Budget, NATCA is still on a rampage of self-interest.

The following statement was released today by National Air Traffic Controllers Association's John Carr:

"We have reached a critical moment in the debate to ensure the safety of our skies. The House of Representatives is expected to consider shortly a motion to send the Federal Aviation Administration bill back to conference because it includes misguided provisions including a proposal to privatize air traffic control. On behalf of the traveling public, this bill needs to be fixed by restoring language that both the full House and Senate already approved to ensure that air traffic control is not privatized.

"There has been some discussion about stripping out the privatization language from the conference report. Let us be clear: stripping out the language is NOT a solution and does NOT restore the status quo. The dirty little secret in this bill is that in section 105 there is language that changes the legal status quo and gives the FAA new authority for contracting out air traffic control. If the conferees truly want to represent both the overwhelming will of the Senate, the House and the American people, they would avoid the temptation to tinker with language and do the right thing by restoring the anti-privatization language.

"The conferees must also heed yesterday's words of Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid that "a conference report that simply strips privatization language will not pass the Senate." The conferees need to go into their discussions understanding that a bill that does not include language to prohibit privatization is dead on arrival in the Senate. Let's not turn this conference committee into another kangaroo court. There's too much at stake. Congress has a real opportunity to show that our legislative process can work - and that the will of the American people can be heard."

FMI: www.natca.org

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