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FAA Commends Controllers at NY Air Traffic Control Facilities; Controllers Maintain Safety in the Face of Significant Staffing Shortage - (5/9/2005)

WASHINGTON – Despite a severe staffing shortage, the air traffic controllers in the New York area continue to prove that they will not be distracted from their primary mission. Even the Federal Aviation Administration has commended the performance of controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (N90) and the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZNY).

Drawing upon comments submitted by “customers” of air traffic control services, usually commercial airlines, the FAA Command Center found that, “A review of customer comments this year shows that New York TRACON and New York Center have more than their fair share of positive customer comments…..With constant pressure to keep flights safely separated, controllers at 'ZNY' and 'N90' take pride in their ability to work with the airlines to overcome weather issues, avoid delays and keep those passengers moving."

“Controllers are working under extreme stress, short staffed and in a work environment that borders on hostile. As always, controllers will not let these administrative stressors compromise their professionalism,” said Ruth Marlin, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).

“Over the last few months controllers in New York have worked to draw attention to the critical issues necessary to maintain aviation safety. Instead of addressing the issues, the agency has challenged the motives of the air traffic controllers. However, they will not let even public derision by management compromise their integrity. We are pleased to see the FAA is finally recognizing that it is the controller that keeps the system together, and we look forward to working with the agency to resolve these important outstanding issues,” Marlin concluded.

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