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News Archive 2003

NATCA, FAA Reach Historic Agreement on Contract Extension
Tue, Dec 9, 2003

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association announced today it has reached agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration on a two-year contract extension that includes cost savings for the agency, capacity improvements for the National Airspace System and safety enhancements for air travelers.


Long Battle on FAA Bill Ends in Victory against Privatization
Fri, Nov 21, 2003

The American flying public can breathe a sigh of relief for now. Congress has declared that selling out air traffic control to the lowest bidder will not be tolerated.


NATCA President John Carr Calls Upon President Bush to Protect Air Safety
Thu, Nov 20, 2003

“Time is running out for President Bush to demonstrate leadership on the issue of air safety. And time is running out for the American flying public which has overwhelmingly rejected privatizing air traffic control. We hope the Administration is simply not trying to run out the clock on this important issue."


Delivering a Much-Needed "Shot in the Arm," New FAA COO Russ Chew Earns Enthusiastic NATCA Backing for “Bold, Smart" ATO Blueprint
Tue, Nov 18, 2003

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr today warmly greeted the unveiling of the Federal Aviation Administration’s new Air Traffic Organization with open arms, calling the initiative “bold and smart” and the architect, FAA Chief Operating Officer Russ Chew, “innovative and thoughtful.”


Statement by NATCA President John Carr on the Senate Vote to Defeat Efforts to Limit Debate on FAA Bill
Mon, Nov 17, 2003

“This evening the U.S. Senate abided by the will of the American flying public and refused to succumb to misguided efforts to privatize the safety of our skies..."


Mica Hearing "as Silly as Snowing in Florida"
Mon, Nov 3, 2003

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr today rejected testifying at House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica’s planned hearing this week to explore turning over the air traffic control system to the military, calling the hearing, in a takeoff of the chairman’s own words, “as silly as snowing in Florida.”


House Republicans' Unwillingness to Put Safety over Political Ideology Apparent in House Passage of FAA Bill
Thu, Oct 30, 2003

House voted 211-207, Agreeing to Conference Report on HR 2115H R 2115-Flight 100--Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act


Statement from NATCA President John Carr on Fixing the FAA Reauthorization Conference Report
Wed, Oct 29, 2003

“Safety should not be a Democratic or a Republican issue. Last June, both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly voted to specifically prohibit privatization. The task now is to find a sensible compromise that upholds the will of both the House and the Senate. Let’s fix this report and make sure that our nation’s skies remain the safest in the world.”


Statement from NATCA President John Carr on the Filing of a New FAA Reauthorization Conference Report
Wed, Oct 29, 2003

At this point, we don’t know which the Republican leaders have less regard for – the safety of the flying public or the truth.


Congressman William Clay Joins NATCA President John Carr in Calling Upon Missouri Delegation to Stand Strong for Safety in the Skies
Wed, Oct 22, 2003

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo., today urged his fellow members of the Missouri congressional delegation to resist White House efforts to privatize air traffic control at 69 towers across the nation, including Spirit of St. Louis Airport.


NATCA Statement Regarding Rep. Mica's Announced Hearing
Wed, Oct 22, 2003

It has been reported that Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., will hold a hearing on Nov. 6 entitled, “Should FAA controllers be consolidated with military air traffic control?" National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr today released the following statement regarding the hearing, which again validates the inherently governmental nature of air traffic control:


NATCA Calls Rep. Mica's Towers-for-Votes Trade Proposal “a Total Outrage”
Thu, Oct 16, 2003

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr today blasted a plan by House Aviation Subcommittee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., to trade towers for votes on the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, calling the effort “a total outrage and an affront to the American flying public.”


NATCA President John Carr: FAA Bill Needs to Be Fixed by Restoring Privatization Ban Which Was Passed by Full House and Senate
Wed, Oct 1, 2003

“We have reached a critical moment in the debate to ensure the safety of our skies. The House of Representatives is expected to consider shortly a motion to send the Federal Aviation Administration bill back to conference because it includes misguided provisions including a proposal to privatize air traffic control. On behalf of the traveling public, this bill needs to be fixed by restoring language that both the full House and Senate already approved to ensure that air traffic control is not privatized.”


NATCA President Challenges Safety of Privatized Air Traffic Control
Wed, Sep 24, 2003

WASHINGTON - John Carr, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told a House Subcommittee today that safety will be jeopardized if air traffic control towers are sold off to private contractors and called upon Congress to ask why contract towers are not held to the same safety standards as FAA towers.


Statement from NATCA President John Carr Regarding Today's FAA Reauthorization Senate Press Conference
Tue, Sep 16, 2003

“The American traveling public deserves a strong Federal Aviation Administration bill that protects their safety and improves air travel. We must not allow the Bush Administration to blackmail the Senate and House with airport shutdowns and furloughs only to pursue a political ideology.”


NATCA Urges FAA to Stop Issuing Furlough Threats and Playing Political Games with Critical Programs
Tue, Sep 9, 2003

John Carr: “The Administration now has to deal with the political mess it created by defying the expressed will of both the House and the Senate and secretly inserting privatization language into a conference report."


Leading Consumer Groups Join the Fight against Privatization of Air Traffic Control
Wed, Sep 3, 2003

Citing concerns about the safety of the traveling public, the nation’s leading consumer groups – Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and Public Citizen’s Congress Watch – have joined the fight against efforts to privatize the nation’s air traffic control system.


Miami Controllers Ask FAA Administrator Blakey: Why Should It Only Be Safe to Fly in Alaska?
Tue, Aug 26, 2003

Before the administrator wraps up her visit to South Florida, we invite her to visit with FAA controllers at nearby Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and Kendall-Tamiami Airport to see first-hand the need to keep these facilities in the hands of federal controllers and not sell the tower out to the lowest bidder.


Cruel Irony: President to Land at Seattle's Boeing Field, One of 69 Airports on White House Chopping Block for Privatization
Fri, Aug 22, 2003

Air Force One will be cleared to land at Seattle’s Boeing Field later today by experienced, highly-skilled federal air traffic controllers. But if President Bush has his way in Congress next month, Boeing Field will be contracted out to the lowest bidder, jeopardizing safety and costing taxpayers more.


Lautenberg, Oberstar Write Mineta to Protest FAA Trading State Exemptions on Privatization for Votes
Wed, Aug 20, 2003

We write to express our grave concern about the recent conduct of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in lobbying Congress for the authority to privatize America’s air traffic control (ATC) system.


Statement from John Carr, NATCA President, in Response to Republican Leadership Comments on Privatization
Thu, Aug 14, 2003

All rhetoric and talking points aside, the Administration is moving aggressively to privatize the air traffic control system, a move that will both jeopardize safety in our skies and stick the taxpayer with a bigger bill.


Contract Tower Costs out of Control; NATCA Asks DOT Inspector General to Investigate
Wed, Jul 30, 2003

Funding for the Federal Contract Tower Program has increased by more than 49 percent over the last three years, dramatically outpacing the rate of growth of the Federal Aviation Administration’s operations budget. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has asked Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead to investigate this and other examples of uncontrolled costs and unfulfilled contractual obligations.


White House Puts Aviation Safety Up for Sale to the Lowest Bidder
Tue, Jul 29, 2003

Placing politics over aviation safety, the White House has destroyed the bipartisan-supported measures passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that would have prohibited the privatization of air traffic control services to the lowest bidder.


NATCA Hails Controller Efforts on STARS Success, Questions FAA’s Commitment to Modernization
Mon, Jun 9, 2003

Tireless dedication and outstanding effort by Philadelphia air traffic controllers has resulted in seven months of safe, smooth operation of the Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) since the equipment was officially turned on.


NATCA Supports AOPA's Efforts to Restore Meigs Field
Thu, May 22, 2003

“The mayor chose to decrease the margin of safety for flyers in Chicago's airspace by closing Meigs and forcing those aircraft into already overcrowded traffic streams at Midway and O'Hare. I don't question his jurisdiction. I question his judgment."


Chicago Air Traffic Controllers Say “Level of Safety Has Diminished Below an Acceptable Level"
Wed, Apr 30, 2003

CHICAGO – Handcuffed with insufficient staffing, overloaded with rising and record amounts of traffic, saddled by the Federal Aviation Administration with complicated revisions to landing procedures at the world’s busiest airport and stung by rising numbers of errors and declining morale, air traffic controllers in the Chicago area have declared “enough is enough.”


NATCA Bringing Controllers, Pilots Together This Week to Discuss Aviation Safety at Annual Event
Mon, Apr 28, 2003

As part of a continuing effort to address ways to improve aviation safety, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association is hosting its annual Communicating for Safety event on Tuesday, April 29 and Wednesday, April 30 at the Doubletree Hotel Denver. This gathering of controllers, pilots and officials from the Federal Aviation Administration will feature interactive forums evenly split between technology presentations and discussions and operational issues.


Bipartisan Bill Introduced in House to Prevent Air Traffic Control Privatization
Fri, Apr 11, 2003

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association applauds the bipartisan team in the House of Representatives for introducing H.R. 1711 yesterday, a bill which would prohibit the privatization or contracting out of the nation’s federal air traffic control system. Called the “Air Traffic Control System Integrity Act of 2003,” National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr praised the bill as “a bold and critical step to preserve the safety and integrity of the world’s best system and ensuring this country maintains its role as the world leader in air traffic control.”


Aircraft Certification Employees Honored for Securing Cockpits
Wed, Apr 9, 2003

WASHINGTON – Over 50 safety employees represented by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s aircraft certification bargaining unit played a crucial safety oversight role in the large-scale effort to design, test and install new, more secure cockpit doors in passenger aircraft. They were among those honored today as the Federal Aviation Administration announced the successful meeting of the deadline for the doors’ installation.


New Guidance from FAA on O'Hare Landing Procedure to Have Significant Negative Impact on Capacity at World's Busiest Airport
Thu, Apr 3, 2003

Adding to the concerns of an already overworked and understaffed facility, air traffic controllers at the Chicago Terminal Radar Approach Control are now being tasked with following a puzzling revision to a landing procedure used at O’Hare International Airport. They say it raises safety concerns and will result in delays which will start in the Chicago area – a region still experiencing record air traffic growth – and ripple throughout the nation’s air traffic system.


Controllers Condemn Daley's Midnight Madness; NATCA Joins FAA, Users in Blasting Chicago Mayor's Meigs Policy
Mon, Mar 31, 2003

Air traffic controllers blasted Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s unannounced forced closure of downtown lakefront Meigs Field under cloak of darkness Sunday night, assailing the stealth maneuver as a major step backwards for Chicago aviation and warning of a domino effect on traffic at neighboring airports.


NATCA Reports Controller Productivity Gains to House Subcommittee, Asks for Hiring to Fill Expected Shortfall
Thu, Mar 27, 2003

WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr told the House Aviation Subcommittee today that, “to the credit of the men and women I represent, operational errors are down, runway incursions are down, controller productivity has increased, the system has been modernized and capacity has increased.” But he warned of an impending staffing crisis caused by retirements and asked the subcommittee to authorize the hiring of an additional 1,000 new air traffic controllers each year for the next three years.


Air Traffic Controllers Join Other Transportation Unions in Assailing DOT Inspector General Kenneth Mead
Mon, Feb 24, 2003

Air traffic controllers, gathered for their annual legislative conference on Capitol Hill this week, are delivering to members of Congress a strong rebuke of Department of Transportation Inspector General Kenneth Mead, refuting Mead’s inaccurate and inflammatory Congressional testimony directed at controllers earlier this month.


U.S. House Members Take on Fight against Air Traffic Control Privatization
Fri, Feb 14, 2003

A growing number of members of the House of Representatives, led by the ranking Democratic member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., have lent their voices to the chorus of opposition to privatizing the U.S. air traffic control system.


Sen. Lautenberg Joins Controllers in Fighting Privatization
Wed, Feb 12, 2003

The nation’s air traffic controllers are enthusiastically supporting efforts on Capitol Hill by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., to declare the jobs of controllers as inherently governmental functions and prevent any Bush Administration attempts at privatization, a risky scheme that threatens safe skies.


Office of Management and Budget Move Puts Air Traffic Control in Jeopardy
Tue, Feb 11, 2003

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is condemning the unprecedented decision – released late last week – by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to designate air traffic control as a commercial activity.


NATCA, FAA Reach Tentative Deal on Two-Year Contract Extension
Tue, Jan 7, 2003

WASHINGTON – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association announced today that it has reached a tentative deal on a two-year extension of its collective bargaining agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration.