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Thu, Sep 11, 2003

NATCA Still Testy Over FAA Reauthorization Bill

Urges "FAA to Stop Issuing Furlough Threats and Playing Political Games With Critical Programs"

After a less than successful attempt to inflame the public over so-called safety concerns in the use of non-Federal ATC personnel, NATCA is complaining again... this time over a situation that they had a hand in creating. The FAA, stymied by the fallout and the lack of an approved FAA Reauthorization Bill (needed for the FAA to continue planned operations) due, in part, to NATCA's opposition to the mostly non-union staffers involved in this matter, has indicated that the lack of approved legislation may require the need to furlough employees if the FAA Reauthorization Bill is not passed by Sept. 30.

According to National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr, "The Administration now has to deal with the political mess it created by defying the expressed will of both the House and the Senate and secretly inserting privatization language into a conference report. They now have to admit that they put many positive aspects of this legislation at risk. The threats coming from the Administration are in response to an overwhelming public outcry that safety be put before political ideology."

"It is time for the Administration to stop putting this important bill at risk by insisting on including a privatization provision that has no public support. The public has rejected the notion of putting air traffic control up for sale to the lowest bidder. The Administration needs to stop holding critical airport improvement programs hostage and drop its misguided threat to veto this bill over privatization."

Note: While Mr. Carr seems to think that the privitization bill has no public support, we might suggest he check with the public again as his statement seems more like wishful thinking and self-service, than an actual measure of public sentiment.

Please note "AOPA: Labor Union Ad Campaign Is Distorted," Sun, 31 Aug '03; "PATCO Response to Privatization Controversy," Mon, 01 Sep '03; "DOT Report Consistent With NBAA Position on Contract Towers," Sun, Sep 7, 2003.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.natca.org

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