- Published: May 24, 2017
Today, Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS) National President Mike Perrone released comments on President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget. The blueprint released on Tuesday would privatize the nation’s air traffic control system by 2020, and contains other measures that would harm federal employees.
“PASS has been opposed to the privatization of the nation’s air traffic control system from day one. Splitting apart the FAA would remove thousands of employees who work in the agency’s Air Traffic Organization, including those who certify, maintain and ensure the safety of the largest and most complex aviation system in the world. Doing so would be a mistake.
“Privatizing the air traffic control system is a risky and unnecessary step just as real progress is being made in the development and implementation of critical technology and systems through the initiatives and projects associated with the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen),” continued Perrone.
Perrone also criticized the financial hit that federal employees would take under the proposed budget. While a modest 1.9 percent pay increase for federal workers has been included, that would immediately be wiped out by changes to their retirement systems. It would eliminate the cost-of-living (COLA) adjustment for current and future employees covered by the Federal Employee Retirement System and cut the COLA for those covered by the Civil Service Retirement System by 0.5 percent. It also requires employees to contribute more to their retirement and would base future retirement benefits on the average of high five years of salary, up from the current high three. “PASS members are dedicated professionals who serve their country with pride, and many have served in the armed forces,” said Perrone. “These proposals amount to a pay cut and a reduction in the amount these dedicated employees can depend on in retirement. The president’s budget is a clear blow to the American people who depend on the safety of our airspace and the federal workforce who serve them. I urge Congress to reject this budget."
For a printable copy of the statement, please click here.