NATCA: We Need An FAA Reauthorization Bill, Not Privatization - (9/23/2011)
CONTACT: Doug Church, 301-346-8245
WASHINGTON – The following is an open letter from NATCA
President Paul Rinaldi:
Americans put their trust in our highly skilled,
professional and experienced federal air traffic controllers to get them where
they need to go, safely and soundly. And they should have confidence when they
do: our nation’s air traffic controllers have a near-perfect safety record.
So when former Office of Management and Budget Director Peter
Orszag opined on Bloomberg View (“Private Air-Traffic System Can Soar,”
Sept. 21) that our air traffic control system should be privatized, we must
respond. Orszag, and others who share his view, are advocating a dangerous and
misguided solution for improving what is already the world’s safest and most
At best, privatization would devastate a core component of
our economy – aviation contributes nearly three-quarters of a trillion dollars
to our GDP. At worst, privatization would put our impeccable safety record at
Orszag wrongly asserted that the privatized Canadian air
traffic control system could be a model for our system. That’s ludicrous: the
U.S. system handles half the world’s air traffic; U.S. federal controllers
safely handle more than 10 times as much traffic as the Canadian system.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is
committed to improving the U.S. aviation system through modernization and
improved airspace efficiency and procedures. We are working collaboratively
with the FAA and private industry on the NextGen air traffic control system,
which is being developed with an emphasis on safety. We are already seeing
positive results and efficiencies are being realized across our system.
What we need most is not privatization – a radical and risky
idea – but a long-term FAA Reauthorization bill, which is currently pending
before Congress. Passage of a long-term FAA bill would fund our aviation
infrastructure and technology improvements, create more than 300,000 jobs and
contribute to our nation’s economic growth.
We will continue to urge Congress to act. More importantly,
we will continue to guide your flight home safely. It’s our sacred trust to
ensure the safety of everyone who uses the world’s best aviation system.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents over 20,000 highly
skilled air traffic controllers, engineers and other safety-related
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