FAA Begins Mediation Sessions With Controllers Group

Former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey will head a panel of three mediators in an attempt to end a long-running contract dispute between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). The sessions began last week and are expected to run through the first part of next month. Both feuding parties signed a process agreement that calls for binding resolution of possible unresolved issues. As part of the agreed process, details of the negotiations are to remain confidential until the meetings are concluded. Joining Garvey on the panel are mediation specialists Richard Bloch and George Cohen. In announcing the appointment of Garvey to head the panel, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said, "One of my highest priorities since coming to DOT has been to resolve this issue so that we can move forward to make our commercial aviation system even better than it already is."