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Air Traffic Controllers Take to the Airwaves to Warn of Looming Staffing Crisis - (9/20/2004)

NATCA Launches Radio and TV Advertising Campaign

WASHINGTON – With the Federal Aviation Administration and the Government Accountability Office predicting severe air traffic control staffing shortages of up to 50 percent over the next decade, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association has unveiled a new advertising campaign to raise awareness of this serious problem throughout the country.

“Congress and the FAA need to address the staffing crisis now, before it’s too late,” said NATCA President John Carr. “We need to start hiring 1,000 new controllers a year to keep up with the coming shortage. It takes three to five years to train a new controller, and not everyone makes the cut. Fewer eyes on the skies will mean delays, congestion or worse.”

Air traffic controllers across the country have been holding press conferences to discuss the existing and looming staffing shortages at our nation’s towers, approach control facilities and en route centers. Congress is currently considering legislation to begin the hiring and training process, but the severity of the shortage will take years to address.


Text of NATCA Radio Ad (:60)

The spot opens with roughly five seconds of air traffic control “chatter” – air traffic controllers communicating with pilots. The chatter then continues under throughout.


ANNOUNCER: This is the sound of America’s air traffic controllers.

Dedicated public servants helping to run the safest and most efficient air traffic control system in the world.

You may not understand what’s being said. It takes up to five years to learn this job—and not everyone makes the cut.

But training is the key to guiding you and more than 600 million travelers home safely every year.

That’s why everyone should be concerned about the looming staffing crisis.

The FAA anticipates a staffing shortage of up to 50% in the next ten years.

And the Transportation Secretary is calling for tripling air capacity.

The FAA and Congress need to work together to start training more controllers now.

If not, we’re looking at delays, congestion, or worse….

And that’s a language we all understand.

[Paid for by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association:
We’re guiding you home.]


Text of NATCA Television Ad (:30)

SFX: The sounds of air traffic controllers’ “chatter” under throughout.


SUPER: This is the sound of America’s air traffic controllers.

Highly trained public servants running the safest air traffic control system in the world.

But the system is facing serious staffing shortages…
Up to 50% in the next ten years.

Congress and the FAA need to start training more controllers… now.

If not, we’re facing delays, congestion, safety compromised.

Call Congress – tell them it’s time to put air traffic control staffing on the radar.

Paid for by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.


To view the television ad and listen to the radio ad, please go to:
http://www.natca.org/mediacenter/ads.msp


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