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NATCA Quick To Embrace Modernization Plan - (6/4/2001)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Courtney Portner June 4, 2001 202.220.9813 cportner@natcadc.org NATIONAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS ASSOCIATION QUICK TO EMBRACE MODERNIZATION PLAN WASHINGTON - The National Air Traffic Controllers Association announced today it fully supports the Federal Aviation Administration's Operational Evolution Plan for the National Airspace System. The proposal, which calls for near, mid and long term enhancements to the nation's air traffic control infrastructure, seeks to increase capacity, reduce delays and enhance the safety of the flying public. "We are very encouraged by this announcement," commented NATCA President John Carr. "We believe these capacity enhancements, in combination with the growing national urgency in building new runways, will best serve our nation's needs in the coming decade." The plan attacks the four areas of greatest need in the National Airspace System: -->Arrival/Departure Rates -->En Route Congestion -->Airport Weather Conditions -->En Route Severe Weather It goes on to address specific solutions for each dilemma and provides specific benchmarks for success. "We have always believed air traffic control improvements are evolutionary, not revolutionary, and this proposal is in line with that thinking," Carr remarked. Carr added, "We are working together with the FAA as full partners in bringing new technology and procedures on line as quickly as possible, with the safety of the system as our litmus test. This plan keeps separation responsibilities where they belong---on the ground---and maximizes the capacity and efficiency of the system at every turn." NATCA, the FAA and other members of the aviation community have worked collaboratively on the Operational Evolution Plan for months. "As far as we're concerned this plan is cleared for takeoff," concluded Carr. ###

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