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NATCA Supports Keeping Radar Controller Jobs on Long Island - (7/9/2012)

CONTACT: Doug Church, 301-346-8245

WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which represents more than 600 aviation safety professionals at the two major New York air traffic control radar facilities, said today it supports keeping those jobs on Long Island in a new, modern facility.

Two-thirds of those jobs are currently at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., which is the nation’s second-busiest regional air traffic control radar center. Air traffic controllers there safely move 2.75 million flights per year. Another 1.9 million flights a year are handled a few miles away at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility in Westbury, N.Y. That’s currently the workplace for more than 200 air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals.

NATCA and the Federal Aviation Administration have proposed to build an entirely new type of air traffic control facility – an Integrated Control Facility (ICF) – for New York, which would blend the operations now housed separately. Both organizations agree that the new facility would enhance both efficiency and safety in the highly trafficked region.  

“NATCA supports facility consolidations and realignments where they enhance the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. We believe the New York ICF can do both and also save taxpayers’ money,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “The first step needs to be the decision to keep this facility on Long Island.”

The New York ICF is tentatively scheduled to be operational in 2019. Some employees will be needed at the new facility as early as 2017.

“A project of this size and importance will require collaboration and effective planning,” Rinaldi said. “NATCA represents dedicated safety professionals who are looking forward to being part of this exciting project. They want this facility to be located on Long Island where most of them have deep roots.

“NATCA believes keeping their jobs on Long Island is a win-win for the FAA and the region.”

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

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