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Statement by NATCA President John Carr on the Senate Vote to Defeat Efforts to Limit Debate on FAA Bill - (11/17/2003)

WASHINGTON – The following statement was issued this evening by National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr:

“This evening the U.S. Senate abided by the will of the American flying public and refused to succumb to misguided efforts to privatize the safety of our skies. But we all know the Congressional clock is ticking. And while this evening’s actions deserve praise, there is still much work to be done to make sure that the safest, most efficient air traffic control system is not sold to the lowest bidder.”

“We call upon President Bush to demonstrate leadership on the issue of air safety. For most of this year, Congress has tried to do the right thing and block the piecemeal privatization of our air traffic control system. The House voted to prohibit privatization. The Senate voted to prohibit privatization. But those efforts have been thwarted by the Administration, which has undermined the will of the Congress and held up the FAA Reauthorization bill – jeopardizing tens of thousands of jobs and critical air safety functions.”

“The message of tonight’s vote is clear: It’s time for President Bush to work directly with Congress to really protect safety and not merely pay lip service to the flying public.”

“We thank the members of the Senate, particularly those Republicans who stood strong in saying no to privatization. They are doing the right thing under difficult circumstances and we urge them to continue to fight for the safety of our skies.”

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