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(WASHINGTON) – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) applauded today’s passage of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024 by the U.S. House of Representatives as a historic step toward solving the air traffic controller staffing crisis.   

This groundbreaking legislation, which the president has already announced his intention to promptly sign into law, contains NATCA’s top legislative priorities, including requiring the FAA to conduct maximum hiring of new air traffic controller trainees for the next five years and adoption of the controller staffing model that was collaboratively developed by NATCA and the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, which meets all of the FAA’s operational, statutory, and contractual requirements.  

“After this historic legislation is signed into law by the president, it will deliver real solutions that address the air traffic controller shortage through increased hiring, access to better training tools, and the adoption of a staffing model that will provide Congress and aviation stakeholders with a complete understanding of the FAA’s operational staffing needs,” said NATCA President Rich Santa. “These initiatives will move us toward proper staffing at facilities throughout the National Airspace System, which will ultimately help reduce fatigue and improve safety and efficiency.”   

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

NATCA thanks the House and Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle, especially the bipartisan and bicameral leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by Chairman Sam Graves and Ranking Member Rick Larsen, as well as the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, led by Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Ted Cruz, and all the members of the committees and the committee staffs. 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Galen Munroe, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; 202-220-9802, [email protected]. 

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, five Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 123 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. 

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