NATCA Members Have Coffee with U.S. Rep. David Schweikert
National Legislative Committee Chair David Skarphol, and Phoenix TRACON (p50) members Mike Ryan and Matt Schorman met with U.S. Rep. David Schweikert (Ariz., 1st) over coffee in Scottsdale. The representative asked many questions about the air traffic controller profession, staffing, funding, and technology advances. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Schweikert was interested in what he could do to ensure the concerns of NATCA members were addressed..
Skarphol, Ryan, and Schorman spoke to Rep. Schweikert about facility staffing numbers and the importance of the FAA Reauthorization which expires at the end of the 2023 fiscal year. Our members brought up the current staffing issues facing air traffic control facilities across the country. They shared data showing a 19% increase in local traffic since 2013 and told him that across the NAS we are down an average of 10% from 2013 certified professional controller (CPC) totals.
The congressman connected with our members by sharing stories about his piloting experience and growing up in Scottsdale. In fact, Schorman and Rep. Schweikert attended the same high school, located in Arizona’s 1st District.
The members invited Rep. Schweikert to tour the SDL tower and plan to reach out to his office to get the tour scheduled soon. Schweikert first toured the facility about 25 years ago, but is eager to visit again.
At the end of the meeting, Rep. Schweikert said that he believes Congress needs to battle for us. This was a great opportunity to show him that NATCA is a tremendously talented group who needs to be supported in Congress.