WASHINGTON — The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) issued the following statement regarding the enactment of the funding law:
NATCA is relieved to avoid another devastating government shutdown. The recent 35-day shutdown was damaging to the lives of air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals represented by NATCA. The prolonged government shutdown eroded the layers of safety in the National Airspace System (NAS). The NAS is less safe now than it was before the shutdown began.
The shutdown reinforced our strong belief that the status quo is broken. The constant funding crises that arise from a stop-and-go funding stream continue to wreak havoc on our system and perpetuate the current staffing crisis. The NAS requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure, integration of new entrants, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization projects.
To that end, NATCA turns our full attention to the passage of the Aviation Funding Stability Act of 2019, HR 1108. With its passage, in the event of a government shutdown, all FAA projects, programs, and activities that were previously funded would continue to be funded out of the Airport & Airway Trust Fund. This legislation will prevent future government shutdowns from forcing FAA to furlough aviation safety professionals, reducing the safety of the system. It will also prevent government shutdowns from delaying the implementation of critical safety programs. NATCA urges everyone concerned about aviation safety to join us in supporting this legislation.
# # #
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, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102
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 nearly 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.