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Rich Santa Speaks with House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio & Ranking Member Sam Graves

Last week, NATCA President Rich Santa held separate phone calls with House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Sam Graves, R-Mo. 

During Santa’s call with Chairman DeFazio, he thanked DeFazio for his strong support of NATCA throughout the chair’s career. DeFazio expressed interest in Santa’s background and his new position as NATCA president. Santa updated the chair about how NATCA and our Union’s members have persevered during the COVID-19 pandemic and protected the National Airspace System (NAS). The two also discussed the training academy and NATCA’s collaboration with the FAA. DeFazio assured Santa that he and his staff will continue to seek the expertise of our Union to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the NAS.

Santa also held a productive call with Ranking Member Graves, where he highlighted the importance of the air traffic controller workforce. The ranking member expressed his understanding that the aviation system cannot operate without the great work of aviation safety professionals. The two discussed their personal interests in aviation and their shared backgrounds as private pilots. Graves encouraged NATCA to reach out and collaborate with him as the FAA reauthorization dialogue begins in the coming months. 

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