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Statement from NATCA President John Carr on the Filing of a New FAA Reauthorization Conference Report - (10/29/2003)

Contact: Doug Church, 202.220.9802, (cell) 301.346.8245

“At this point, we don’t know which the Republican leaders have less regard for – the safety of the flying public or the truth. At a press conference this morning, the leaders and FAA Administrator Blakey said with a straight face that they had stripped from the conference report language pertaining to the privatization of air traffic control. This is dead wrong. We now know that the new conference report actually includes language buried in Section 105 that permits privatization of our nation’s skies – in direct contradiction to their public statements.

“It is also a total sham when they called this a restoration of the 'status quo.' Both the House and the Senate voted to specifically PROHIBIT privatization after the Bush Administration recklessly declared our nation’s air traffic control system “commercial.” A bipartisan majority of Congress and the American people have said no to privatization of our skies. It’s become clear that the Republican leaders are so driven by the need to win a political victory that they are willing to cast aside the will of their colleagues and the public.

“It’s time to stop covering up the truth. What it is being proposed in the new conference report STILL CONTAINS language specifically giving the White House authority to contract out our air traffic control system to the lowest bidder. The game playing has got to end – the safety of our skies is at stake.”


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