- Published: June 07, 2017
Today, the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), along with eight other organizations representing thousands of aviation and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employees, sent a letter to Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, thanking him for introducing the Aviation Funding Stability Act, which would ensure that the U.S. air traffic control system remains a part of the federal government. The Trump administration on Monday announced a plan to privatize the largest, safest and most complex aviation system in the world.
In addition to PASS, the letter was signed by the American Federation of Government Employees; American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees; Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO; National Association of Government Employees; National Federation of Federal Employees; Office and Professional Employees International Union; Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, Inc.; and Professional Association of Aeronautical Center Employees.
“As representatives of the employees who design, install, operate and maintain the National Airspace System (NAS), we firmly oppose any proposal to privatize the air traffic control system. We are encouraged that you and many other members of Congress recognize the significant need to keep our aviation system a function of the U.S. government,” stated the letter.
Calling the air traffic control system “one of our nation’s greatest assets,” the organizations highlighted their serious concerns with privatization of the system, including the substantial progress currently being achieved through the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), which is resulting in significant cost savings and technological advancements.
“Privatizing the air traffic control system is a risky and unnecessary step at a time when the focus should be on ensuring adequate funding, continuing aviation growth and modernization, and maintaining our status as the world leader in aviation. Your bill ensures that our air traffic control system remains in the public trust,” the letter continued.
The groups agree that reforms to how the FAA is funded are necessary. DeFazio’s bill achieves that without the risk to the system that privatization would bring.
“The men and women at the FAA are dedicated and highly-skilled federal employees who deserve a stabilized funding stream and adequate staffing levels. We look forward to working with you to strengthen this legislation as it moves forward and ensure the federal workforce continues to perform the critical duties needed to keep this country’s aviation system safe.”