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NATCA Hails Passage of Long-Term FAA Bill - (2/6/2012)

CONTACT: Doug Church, 301-346-8245

NATCA HAILS PASSAGE OF LONG-TERM FAA BILL

Reauthorization a Win for Aviation Safety, Technology, Job Creation

WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association cheered Congressional approval of the long-overdue Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill, saying that enactment will lead to an even safer and more efficient U.S. aviation system.

The measure, approved today in the Senate, will provide funding for the FAA for the next four years. Long-term funding – including vital funds for the NextGen air traffic control system – will lead to safer and more reliable air travel. It’s been five years since Congress passed a long-term FAA funding bill; since then Congress has approved two dozen short-term, quick-fixes.

“NATCA couldn’t be happier with Congress’ important action today,” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi. “A long-term reauthorization bill will help ensure a safe, reliable aviation system and clear the way for implementation of much-needed technological advances like NextGen.”

“This is a victory for air travelers and all of our dedicated aviation safety professionals,” Rinaldi added.

The U.S. aviation system is already the best and safest in the world, but this long-term FAA bill will make it even better. It will create new jobs, promote global competitiveness, allow for important safety improvements, accelerate technological advances like NextGen and improve the system’s operational efficiencies. It also includes language that addresses the collective bargaining process at the FAA.

“This bill guarantees that the impacted workforce – the FAA employees – will finally have a fair, collective bargaining process at the Agency,” NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert said. “The final bill contains an essential collective bargaining provision (Sec. 601), which addresses the personnel management issues that permeated the FAA and soured its relationship with its workforce for much of the past decade. This critical provision ensures that the entire FAA workforce will never again have work and pay rules imposed upon them without a fair collective bargaining process.”

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

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