WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi issued this statement after House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., introduced the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act:
“After extremely careful review, consideration, and deliberation, we have decided to support the bill because it fully aligns with NATCA’s policies, practices, and core principles. We made sure that we clearly understood how this bill would protect the National Airspace System (NAS) and allow it to continue to grow, as well as how it would protect the men and women who are the backbone of the system. This bill protects our workforce – including pay, benefits, retirement, and collective bargaining rights.
“NATCA is focused on providing a stable, predictable funding stream to operate and improve the NAS. To get our Union’s support, any ATC reform legislation must, at a minimum, meet our Four Core Principles for Reform:
- Protect the men and women who ensure the safety and efficiency of the NAS in their employment relationship, including their rights and benefits;
- Maintain safety and efficiency as the top priorities;
- Provide a stable, predictable funding stream that adequately supports air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization, preventative maintenance, and ongoing modernization of the physical infrastructure; and
- Ensure continued service to all segments of our nation’s diverse aviation community.”
NATCA remains open to considering any FAA reauthorization or FAA reform proposal, as long as it addresses the problems with the status quo and is not a for-profit model. NATCA also supports the provisions in H.R. 2800, the Aviation Funding Stability Act, introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.
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Certified in 1987, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals.
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