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Contact: Sarah McCann, 202-220-9813

WASHINGTON – NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and NATCA Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert issued a joint statement today, calling on Congress to prevent a government shutdown and provide the National Airspace System (NAS) with stable, predictable funding.

“For the last three years, we’ve been asking Congress to establish a stable, predictable funding mechanism to fund the NAS. Yet once again, we are waiting to see if Congress can approve short term funding for the federal government before the end of the fiscal year. The same situation could happen again later this year and before the debt ceiling deadline next March. The efficiency of the NAS and the livelihoods of the men and women safeguarding it can be negatively impacted by budgetary disagreements over issues unrelated to aviation. For example, the current staffing crisis impacting the NAS is further exacerbated when stop-and-go funding slows down the FAA’s ability to hire, train, and staff the air traffic controller workforce. This is further evidence that a stable, predictable funding stream is essential for the NAS.”

“Congress must give the aviation community in this country the tools necessary to build the best system possible. Several bills they’ve passed recently, including the FAA reauthorization extension, are a good start. But we also need stable, predictable funding. While a Continuing Resolution is certainly better than a government shutdown, NATCA would prefer a stable and predictable funding stream provided by the regular order appropriations process. The current environment makes it too hard for the FAA to hire and train new employees consistently and plan for and implement modernization of our nation’s facilities and equipment. This threatens the aviation industry’s rank as number one in the world, as well as its significant contribution to our nation’s economy. We urge members of Congress to prevent a government shutdown and pass a funding bill before the September 30 deadline.”

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Certified in 1987, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents over 19,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals.

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