Rinaldi Joins Aviation Leaders at 12th Annual Aviation Summit
Friday, March 29, 2013


Pictured left to right Margaret Jenny, RTCA President, Capt. Lee Moak, President of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) International, Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President, Steve Dickson, Senior Vice President-Flight Operations, Delta Air Lines Captain, and moderator Edward Bolen, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO.

Growing concern over where the aviation industry is headed and what effects the sequester cuts may have was the topic of discussion at the 12th Annual Aviation Summit held March 28 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi was joined by Steve Dickson, Senior Vice President-Flight Operations, Delta Air Lines Captain, Capt. Lee Moak, President of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) International and Margaret Jenny, RTCA President. The moderator was Edward Bolen, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO.

The impact of sequestration on the National Airspace System is going to be great, and Rinaldi reminded everyone of the potential effects.

"The National Airspace System is an economic engine and it contributes over 10 million jobs," he said. "Now we're going to have controllers starting to get furloughed one day per pay period starting April 21 for the remainder of the year."

He continued, "The National Airspace System is already the safest, most efficient and most complex system in the world. We have the recipe for success, but we're starting to mess with that recipe."

NextGen has been underway for several years, but with the uncertainties of where aviation is heading, it may be delayed.

"As we talk about moving forward and about NextGen, I have a very bleak picture of what NextGen could be if we're talking about decreasing the capacity of the National Airspace System due to sequestration,” Rinaldi said.

General aviation and business aviation are essential for small communities throughout the nation, and that may also be changing in the future with the unfavorable cuts that have resulted in the FAA announcing it will shut down 149 contract towers by May 5.

"Contract towers are a vital asset to the National Airspace System,” Rinaldi said. “That is a deep concern as we move forward with sequestration and where we're headed with aviation in this country. We won't be the world leader if we continue to do what we're doing."