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Air Traffic Controllers Go to Capitol Hill to Shed Spotlight on Looming Staffing Crisis - (5/14/2004)

Message To Members Of Congress: We Need To Train Next Generation Of Controllers Now

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of air traffic controllers from across the country will descend on Capitol Hill on May 17-18 for their annual legislative conference and Hill visits with a singular message for their respective members of Congress: We must act now to hire and train more controllers to avert a looming shortage which the General Accounting Office, Department of Transportation Inspector General and Federal Aviation Administration all agree is real and imminent.

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will speak to the controllers at noon on Monday, May 17. Preceding her will be AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. The highlight of Tuesday’s program are speeches by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

The FAA anticipates a controller shortage nationwide of up to 50 percent in the next 10 years. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has called upon the FAA and Congress to start training 1,000 new controllers each year to meet demand.

WHAT: “NATCA In Washington,” National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s annual legislative conference

WHEN: Monday, May 17 – Tuesday, May 18, 2004

WHO: Monday speakers: NATCA President John Carr, 9 a.m.; AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind, 9:30 a.m.; AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, 10:30 a.m.; FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, noon. Tuesday speakers: NATCA Executive Vice President Ruth Marlin, 9 a.m.; Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., 9:30 a.m.; Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Hyatt Regency Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill,
400 New Jersey Ave., N.W. Telephone: 202-737-1234

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