The 11,000 employees that PASS represents at the FAA and the Department of Defense are dedicated public servants. They have chosen to serve their country, and many are veterans of the armed forces. PASS works to protect their workplace rights and benefits by fighting back on any legislative proposals that would harm them. Cuts to retirement and health care benefits, attacks on official time, limiting appeal rights and mandatory furloughs are just some of the proposals that have been put forth by legislators in the past and PASS fights against every day. The union works with allies on Capitol Hill and other unions representing federal employees to ensure that these workers are treated with dignity and respect.
In order for FAA employees to continue their important work on behalf of the American flying public, it is imperative that the agency—indeed, the entire Department of Transportation—be fully and consistently funded. Continuing resolutions, multiple reauthorization extensions, budget cuts mandated by sequestration, and threats of government shutdowns can potentially hamper the FAA and its modernization efforts.
PASS works with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and other federal employee unions in calling for a fully funded FAA and monitors any budget negotiations that would threaten the stability of the agency and its workforce.
PASS is opposed to proposals to privatize the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system. The United States has the safest, largest, and most complex aviation system in the world and that system should continue to be operated solely for the public’s benefit and safety, not for the benefit of a private entity. In February 2018, proponents of ATC privatization abandoned efforts to include the scheme in FAA reauthorization legislation. PASS will remain vigilant in our fight against privatization in other legislative vehicles.
- Privatizing the ATC system would shift control of revenues away from the American people and their elected representatives.
- A 2017 report from the Congressional Budget Office determined that a U.S. House of Representatives plan to privatize the U.S. ATC system would increase the deficit by nearly $100 billion over 10 years.
- Privatized models in other countries with far smaller and less complex aviation systems went through “growing pains,” which included, among other things, financial bailouts, decreases in service and staffing cuts.
- Real progress is being made to modernize the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) through the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), a complex intra-agency revitalization project. Privatization would disrupt this progress.
- Privatizing the system would also raise questions about the impact on small towns and local communities if a private entity were to dictate the growth of, and access to, airspace.
- Today, the FAA and the Department of Defense (DoD) collaborate 24/7. In the event of a national emergency or natural disaster, the FAA and DoD protect the NAS by sharing airspace, training systems, assets, equipment and information. This is made possible by their mutual status as federal agencies within the U.S. government. Privatization would compromise this relationship and jeopardize national security.
The federal employees at the FAA represented by PASS are committed to ensuring the safety and efficiency of this country’s aviation system. It must continue to be a function of the federal government and remain in the hands of these expertly skilled public servants. The integrity and safety of our aviation system should never be compromised.
President Perrone Testimony: "With Shutdown Looming, PASS President Warns Against Gambling with Aviation Safety," July 17, 2019