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Statement from John Carr, NATCA President, in Response to Republican Leadership Comments on Privatization - (8/14/2003)


WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr in response to comments this week from Republican leadership on Capitol Hill regarding privatization of air traffic control:

“For months the Administration and the Republican leadership have insisted that they have no intention of privatizing America's air traffic control system. They have dismissed criticism of privatization as "making a mountain out of a molehill" and belittled dedicated FAA employees concerns as air traffic controllers being "greedy."

“But all rhetoric and talking points aside, the Administration is moving aggressively to privatize the air traffic control system, a move that will both jeopardize safety in our skies and stick the taxpayer with a bigger bill.

“After months of denying their intentions to privatize the entire air traffic system, now Republican leaders are openly saying they may privatize the entire system. We welcome this refreshing candor and look forward to a vigorous debate when Congress returns from the Labor Day recess.

“This is a critical issue to the millions of Americans who fly every day. To date, the proponents of privatization have been unwilling to be candid about how they want to change the system. That's why they have relied on backroom political deals to fulfill their agenda, rather than honest and open public debate.

“Our hope is that this debate can proceed now in an open and candid way. We will continue to vigorously oppose contracting out air traffic control to the lowest bidder and any attempt to jeopardize the safest air traffic control system in the world. We assume proponents of privatization will also make their case just as vigorously. The public deserves this debate.”

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