NATCA Supports AIRR Act

The NATCA announced on Thursday its support of Rep. Bill Shuster’s FAA reauthorization bill that will privatize ATC. NATCA

After weeks of wondering which way front line controllers might lean in the recently energized air traffic control debate, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said this afternoon that the National Air Traffic Controllers Association stands behind the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act originally published by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA). Rinaldi said support came in part, because "…The bill fully aligns with NATCA's policies, practices, and core principles … [and] protects our workforce, including pay, benefits, retirement, and collective bargaining rights."

NATCA said of equal importance to the union and its membership were maintaining the safety and efficiency of the ATC system, creating a stable and predictable funding stream that will support modernization and ensuring that all elements of the industry receive air traffic service.

Shuster yesterday said his newest updates to the privatization model would exempt all general aviation users, including business aviation from user fees, at least for the moment. Despite what might appear like an olive branch from the committee chairman, much of the industry remains skeptical of what might happen to the ATC system once the privatization model takes effect.

NATCA said it’s not simply focusing on Shuster’s ideas but “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 said it supports the provisions in H.R. 2800, the Aviation Funding Stability Act, introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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