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The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) applauds today’s passage by the U.S. Senate of both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024 and a one-week FAA authorization extension. These Senate votes avert an FAA shutdown that would have begun on Friday after 11:59 p.m. The passage gives the U.S. House of Representatives a week to pass the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 when lawmakers return next Tuesday. This allows the House to pass the bill prior to midnight on May 17.

NATCA strongly supports the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 as it includes the Union’s top legislative priorities, including requiring the FAA to conduct maximum hiring of new air traffic controller trainees for the next five years. The bill also requires the FAA to adopt the controller staffing model that was collaboratively developed by NATCA and the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization as the basis for the FAA’s annual Controller Workforce Plan. This collaboratively developed model meets all of the FAA’s operational, statutory, and contractual requirements. 

“With the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act through the Senate, we are on verge of finally moving real solutions forward that address controller hiring, training, and staffing, while improving the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System,” said NATCA President Rich Santa. “It is our Union’s hope that the House will move quickly to pass the legislation.”

The legislation also directs the FAA to deploy tower simulator systems at all FAA towers to enhance and expedite training and requires FAA to study and implement expansion of the capacity of the FAA’s Training Academy.

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