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NATCA President Paul Rinaldi Statement on U.S. Air Traffic Control Reform Announcement

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WASHINGTON – National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi stated:

NATCA shares the Administration’s commitments to infrastructure modernization and providing the National Airspace System (NAS) with a stable, predictable funding stream. We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control (ATC) reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.

ON BACKGROUND: NATCA considers the status quo to be unacceptable and will oppose any ATC reform proposal that would institute a for-profit model. NATCA previously supported a federally chartered not-for-profit corporation model, as proposed in the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act of 2016, because it met our four core principles for reform. For NATCA to consider supporting any new reform proposal, it must – at minimum: 

  • protect the rights and benefits of the workforce; 
  • ensure that safety and efficiency remain 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
  • maintain service to all segments of our nation’s diverse aviation community. 

MORE INFORMATION: Doug Church, Director of Communications

301-346-8245 or dchurch@natcadc.org

We Need a Stable, Predictable Funding Stream

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NATCA wants to see a stable, predictable funding stream for the National Airspace System (NAS). During the House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing May 17 on ATC and FAA reform, Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., asked NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, "What do you think would be the cost of us doing nothing?"

Rinaldi's response: “Status quo, or doing nothing, is unacceptable. September will be here before you know it. We will be looking at another possible government shutdown and, as I said in my opening statement, as we lead up to a shutdown, the FAA turns their attention from NextGen, from UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) implementation, to shutdown procedures. For the last 10 years it happens a couple of times a year, and we lose this time. It’s four of five weeks leading up to it, five weeks on the back end of it, and they’re not sure what sequester’s going to bring us if we do get a budget and we do get a bill passed, what types of cuts we will have into the aviation system.”

NATCA President Paul Rinaldi's full written testimony
VIDEO: May 17 House T&I Committee hearing
VIDEO: Highlights from May 17 hearing
VIDEO: Rinaldi's opening statement

Communicating for Safety

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