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News Archive 2006

FAA Ban on Weather Communications Equipment and Radios Compromises Safety of Its Employees and the Flying Public
Thu, Dec 28, 2006

The Federal Aviation Administration’s September decision to ban weather radios, commercial radios and cell phones from its air traffic control facilities placed air traffic controllers in extreme danger in the control tower cab and radar room at Daytona Beach International Airport when Monday’s tornado roared within 150 yards of the facility – with no warning given to the six controllers on duty – before carving a destructive path through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This marks the third such incident in three months at an FAA facility that, until recently, had access to the very latest severe weather warnings, as should be the case

FAA Changes Regulation Covering Front Row Aircraft Seating; Aircraft Certification Employees Voice Safety Concerns
Tue, Dec 19, 2006

The Federal Aviation Administration, bypassing the required regulatory process in changing its interpretation of a safety regulation that had been protecting most front row seat passengers from serious head injury since 1988, has set a dangerous precedent by declaring the move a “policy change,” and forced its aircraft certification employees to certify new aircraft to a lower safety standard, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which represents the employees.

O’Hare Radar Outage Means Big Delay Problems, Continued Headaches for Travelers Due to FAA's Failure to Provide Backup
Fri, Dec 15, 2006

This morning’s failure of the lone Airport Surveillance Radar-Model 9 (ASR-9) at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has drastically slashed the airport’s arrival rate and greatly diminished the efficiency of some of the world’s busiest airspace. It also serves as an expensive and painful reminder of the consequences associated with the Federal Aviation Administration’s failure to provide a critical redundancy for the system in the form of a backup radar.

Poor Staffing, FAA Directive on Approach Control Responsibility Had Impact on Two Indiana Fatal Accidents, Controllers Say
Wed, Nov 15, 2006

The crash last month of a twin-engine plane, on approach to the Mid-American Air Center in Lawrenceville, Ill., was the second fatal plane crash in Indiana this year in which local approach controllers in Terre Haute, Ind., should have been guiding the aircraft, but instead, the Federal Aviation Administration switched control to Indianapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center because the Terre Haute Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) was closed for the night.

Controllers Ask FAA to Reverse Safety-Jeopardizing Decision to Remove On-Site Weather Service Units from En Route Centers
Thu, Oct 19, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration is planning to eliminate on-site meteorologist positions – called a Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) – at each of the 21 Air Route Traffic Control Centers across the United States, a decision that air traffic controllers warn would leave them without the ability to obtain and relay vital weather information in a timely manner to aircraft experiencing difficulty and would have an adverse effect on safety.

Cruel Irony: FAA to Force Imposed Work Rules on Controllers on Labor Day Weekend; Rest, Staffing, Morale, Wages to Suffer
Fri, Sep 1, 2006

WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration plans to celebrate Labor Day weekend by unilaterally imposing work rules and conditions on its air traffic controller workforce in a brazen, arrogant trampling of the collective bargaining process that promises to have negative impacts on the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System.

Statement by NATCA President John Carr on the Introduction of Bill S.3763 by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.
Tue, Aug 1, 2006

Another distinguished leader in Congress – Senator Mark Pryor – has sent a reminder to the Federal Aviation Administration that Congress and the American people stand firmly against the imposition of unfair and unsafe terms and conditions on America’s air traffic controllers.

Pat Forrey Elected as New President of NATCA
Mon, Jul 31, 2006

WASHINGTON – Pat Forrey, an 18-year veteran air traffic controller at Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center and a two-term vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s Great Lakes Region, has won election as NATCA president, defeating two-term incumbent John Carr, it was announced today by the union’s election committee.

Senate Committee Blasts FAA for Inaction on Controller Staffing
Thu, Jul 27, 2006

The Senate Transportation Appropriations Committee, in its fiscal year 2007 bill language, has blasted the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to deliver an updated air traffic controller workforce plan and is proposing a $100,000-per-day cut to the FAA operations account for every day the report misses an annual March 1 deadline, beginning next year.

Massive Power, Communications Failure at Major Air Traffic Control Center Puts Controllers in Dark, Flights in Jeopardy
Wed, Jul 19, 2006

A massive power and communications failure late Tuesday at the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center left scrambling air traffic controllers to deal with a nightmare scenario – how to keep dozens of flights away from each other above a large swath of the Southwestern United States despite the inability to see them, talk to them or relay crucial instructions for 15 excruciatingly long minutes.

Controllers Launch New Online Tool for Air Travelers; www.avoiddelays.com Makes Delay Information Consumer-Friendly and Easily Accessible
Thu, Jul 13, 2006

Want to know the 10 worst times of the day to fly? Want to know which local airport is more likely to have delays? Did you book the flight that is delayed 100 percent of the time for an average of two hours?

NATCA Welcomes House Votes Barring FAA from Consolidating and Co-Locating Air Traffic Control Facilities
Thu, Jun 15, 2006

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr issued the statement below following Wednesday’s bipartisan vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to block the Federal Aviation Administration from consolidating and co-locating Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facilities. The House voted overwhelmingly – 261-166 – to approve an amendment to the Transportation Appropriations bill offered by Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. The vote comes just one week after an overwhelming bipartisan majority - 65 percent - of House members voted to send NATCA and the FAA back to the contract negotiating table and prevent the agency from

Statement by NATCA President John Carr on House Vote in Favor of Fairness in Collective Bargaining
Thu, Jun 8, 2006

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr released the following statement concerning Wednesday evening’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the issue of fairness in collective bargaining with the Federal Aviation Administration:

Fear and Misinformation on Capitol Hill
Tue, Jun 6, 2006

DoT and FAA Misinformation Campaign Attempts to Undermine Legitimate Congressional Debate and Vote

NATCA Applauds Costello Petition, Urges Congress to Act
Tue, May 23, 2006

Washington – With a clear majority of the House of Representatives supporting legislation that would restore fairness and accountability to the negotiating process, Congressman Costello is circulating a discharge petition to ensure timely consideration of his bill, H.R 4755. 

FAA Fails to Correct Urgent Safety Concerns at Detroit Airport: Controllers and Passengers at Risk
Thu, May 18, 2006

DETROIT – Air traffic controllers at Detroit International Airport today filed an ethics complaint and urged the FAA to immediately address the toxic black mold outbreak that is endangering controller and air passenger safety.

Controllers to Travelers: Support the Ones Who Guide You Home
Mon, May 8, 2006

Hundreds of air traffic controllers nationwide, in a campaign that continues today, are taking their message of fairness in collective bargaining with the Federal Aviation Administration directly to the people who stand to feel the impact of a forced contract upon controllers the most – the American traveling public.

Majority in House of Representatives Now Supports “Fair FAA” Act
Fri, Apr 28, 2006

WASHINGTON – A majority of lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives now supports a bill that would stop the Federal Aviation Administration from unilaterally imposing a contract on air traffic controllers on June 5, thereby exacerbating a growing staffing crisis. And while support for the “Fair FAA” Act to usher in the return of a fair and accountable process to collective bargaining has reached 229 co-sponsors, including 59 Republicans, several lawmakers are also urging the FAA to return to the bargaining table with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. NATCA has also formally asked FAA Administrator Marion Blakey to reope

NATCA Accepts FAA's Public Offer to Return to Bargaining Table
Tue, Apr 18, 2006

National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr announced today that NATCA is accepting the Federal Aviation Administration’s public offer to return to the contract bargaining table. Carr called upon the agency to rescind its declaration of impasse and bring to the new talks a renewed spirit of good faith bargaining and a desire to reach a voluntary agreement.

FAA Walks Out On Contract Talks With Air Traffic Controllers
Wed, Apr 5, 2006

Contract talks between the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Federal Aviation Administration, which broke down last week over economic proposals, have officially concluded with the FAA walking out of the negotiations and declaring impasse after rejecting an offer that would have saved taxpayers $1.4 billion.

FAA, Air Traffic Controller Contract Talks Break Down; FAA Rejects $1.4 Billion in Taxpayer Savings, Controllers Warn of Retirement Wave, Urge Congress to Act
Fri, Mar 31, 2006

Contract talks between the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association broke down today as the FAA rejected an offer that would have saved taxpayers $1.4 billion. A drastic pay cut now looms as the FAA attempts to force its offer on employees, ignoring bipartisan Congressional calls for an agreement that serves the flying public and the taxpayer.

Follow-Up Statement From John Carr: "Negotiations Are Over... FAA Knows It."
Fri, Mar 31, 2006

Statement of NATCA President John S. Carr concerning NATCA/FAA Contract Talks:

Persistent Radar Woes at Busy Denver Facility Jeopardize Safety
Mon, Mar 27, 2006

While the Federal Aviation Administration snubs the Denver Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) facility by denying it a modernized radar display system, the antiquated system in use continues to experience frequent reliability problems, including a failure recently that resulted in a close call in the skies above Denver that jeopardized safety.

FAA Relocation of Engineers, Other Employees Jeopardizes Safety
Wed, Mar 15, 2006

The Federal Aviation Administration is relocating hundreds of safety-critical jobs by squeezing nine regional offices down to three and will initiate job cuts through attrition. The announcement was not a surprise to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, which has been watching a series of reorganizations, consolidations, and overall downsizing since the creation of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization. The first wave of attacks on FAA workers will hit in six major cities; Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles and New York and could involve as many as 400 employees.

FAA Administrator Attacks Her Own Workforce on Capitol Hill; Air Traffic Control Computer Outages, Serious Flight Delays Serve as Backdrop to Blakey's Misleading Statements
Wed, Mar 8, 2006

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey once again made it clear yesterday that she is more focused on attacking her own employees than addressing the serious challenges facing America’s air traffic system. In testimony before the House Transportation-Treasury Appropriations Subcommittee that was slated to cover the agency’s current and future funding priorities, Blakey repeatedly misled on air traffic controller salaries while paying scant attention to the two biggest issues facing the U.S. air traffic system – technological modernization and staffing.

AFL-CIO Endorses Legislation to Ensure Fair FAA Bargaining
Tue, Feb 28, 2006

The AFL-CIO this week has endorsed legislation introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate that would restore fairness to the collective bargaining process and prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from unilaterally imposing a contract on its employees without the consent of Congress.

NATCA Calls for Mediation in Contract Talks With FAA
Thu, Feb 23, 2006

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, in its efforts to reach a voluntary agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration, today has called for a mediator to join the talks when they resume on March 6.

Bipartisan House Bill Seeks Fairness in FAA Talks
Wed, Feb 15, 2006

In a strong show of bipartisan unity and support to bring fairness and accountability to the Federal Aviation Administration negotiating process, nearly two dozen lawmakers are co-sponsoring a bill introduced today by Rep. Sue Kelly, R-N.Y., and Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Ill., that would deny the FAA any ability to unilaterally impose a contract on its employees without the consent of Congress.

NATCA Honors Sen. Lautenberg With "Sentinel of Safety" Award; Miami Tower Controller Jesse Fisher Wins "President's Award"
Tue, Jan 31, 2006

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association saluted Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., with the second “Sentinel of Safety” award and Miami Tower Controller Jesse Fisher with the annual NATCA “President’s Award” for the most outstanding flight assist of 2005 during a banquet Monday evening.

NATCA Salutes Gulf Coast Controllers for Dedicated Efforts
Mon, Jan 30, 2006

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is saluting its members at facilities across the Gulf Coast for their efforts in ensuring safety and their tireless work ethic and dedication to the evacuation, relief and recovery missions following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last summer.

Exceptional Controllers Saluted with "Archie League” Award
Mon, Jan 30, 2006

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association today is saluting the best examples of air traffic controllers who displayed extraordinary skill to ensure safety in critical situations in 2005 with its second annual “Archie League Medal of Safety” awards.

FAA Stifles Legitimate Debate on Bill to Create Fair Process for Dispute Resolution
Mon, Jan 30, 2006

The Federal Aviation Administration is making an aggressive attempt to stifle debate on legislation that would bring accountability and fairness to FAA-NATCA contract negotiations. The FAA not only opposes legislation that would bring transparency back to the process, but is now trying to kill legitimate discussion of the topic by lawmakers, showing a shocking lack of regard for Congressional oversight.

Obama-Murray-Lautenberg Bill Seeks to Restore Fairness and Accountability to Air Traffic Controller-FAA Contract Talks
Thu, Jan 26, 2006

Senators Barack Obama, D-Ill., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., today are introducing a bill that would force the Federal Aviation Administration to engage in productive, good faith contract negotiations with its unions, including the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. The bill would deny the agency any ability to unilaterally impose a contract without the consent of Congress. Currently, the FAA believes that a loophole in the law gives it such power.

NATCA Urges FAA to Fully Fund New Hires, Despite Budget Cuts
Wed, Jan 11, 2006

The Federal Aviation Administration is considering shelving plans to hire 1,249 new air traffic controllers this year because of cuts mandated by recent budget legislation, despite the urgent need for new controllers as three out of every four become eligible for retirement over the next decade. But while the agency cites budgetary pressures from labor costs, it still decided to raise management salaries and hire additional supervisors to oversee a shrinking workforce.