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NATCA Enthusiastically Endorses President Obama, VP Biden for Second Term - (11/15/2011)

CONTACT: Doug Church, 301-346-8245

WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today proudly and enthusiastically announces its endorsement of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for re-election to a second term. NATCA wants to continue to work closely with this administration, which has demonstrated strong leadership and a commitment to improving the safety and efficiency of our airspace system for the flying public.

The strengths of our aviation industry are clear. Aviation contributes more than $730 billion – or more than five percent - to our gross domestic product with almost $1.3 trillion in economic output. It drives nearly 11 million American jobs, both in the industry and as a result of it.

    “President Obama and Vice President Biden are fully committed to continuing to improve what is already the world’s safest and most efficient airspace system and we stand with them,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “The next few years are critical for our country, and our National Airspace System and this country needs the President’s continued leadership. We are supportive of the steady progress being made by this administration to achieve our safety goals through a collaborative partnership, which we are pleased to report is not only resulting in successes but also becoming the way in which work is done in the FAA. This makes the system safer.”

    Within his first 100 days in office, the President moved to restore fairness to the collective bargaining process at the FAA, which ended high attrition rates and stabilized the controller workforce. This allowed the FAA to begin the process of restoring safe staffing levels and effective training and placement processes. That critical work continues today. The President’s actions also immediately restored high morale in the air traffic control facilities around the country, as validated last month by PolitiFact.com.

    “The relationship between the FAA and air traffic controllers has improved in tangible ways,” according to PolitiFact.com, which also gave the President credit for the progress being made in modernization and new technologies and procedures with the Next Generation (NextGen) system. “Even though NextGen will take many years to fully implement,” wrote PolitiFact.com, “the FAA under Obama is bringing it closer to reality.”

The President’s American Jobs Act would help put millions of Americans back to work rebuilding the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Additionally, the President has led the effort to urge Congress to pass a long-term FAA reauthorization bill, which would create more than 300,000 new jobs.

    The President’s commitment to both creating new jobs and maintaining existing jobs was evident last summer when he and his administration were outspoken in urging an end to a partial FAA shutdown that furloughed 4,000 FAA employees – including 1,200 represented by NATCA – due to Congressional inaction on a funding extension.

 “Our aviation system is the safest and most reliable in the world,” Rinaldi said. “It is operated by dedicated, experienced professionals who understand that there is no room for error. The President understands this as well and through his leadership, and the collaborative process his administration has created, we are on the right path to building the safe system of tomorrow while we ensure the safety of all flights today.”


The National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents over 20,000 highly skilled controllers, engineers and other safety-related professionals.
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