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NATCA Opposes the Nomination of Bobby Sturgell for FAA Administrator - (10/23/2007)

WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from NATCA President Patrick Forrey opposing the Bush Administration’s nomination today of Bobby Sturgell for administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration: 

“NATCA opposes the nomination of Bobby Sturgell for administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. We oppose it because America's aviation system is experiencing record delays and an unprecedented degradation of safety margins, exacerbated by the largest decline in the number of experienced air traffic controllers since 1981. The mislabeled contract that the FAA imposed upon its controller workforce on Sept. 3, 2006 has resulted in more than 1,550 air traffic controllers leaving the FAA due to a poisonous and acrimonious labor situation in which morale has never been lower. Simply put, over the past five years of this administration, we have experienced the demise of the world’s safest and most efficient air traffic system.  

“The President's nomination for FAA administrator has been an integral part of this systematic demise of controller staffing and abysmal labor-management relations. Therefore, NATCA will not support a nominee that will continue to exhibit a management philosophy that demoralizes its valuable workforce to the point of leaving. 

“Air traffic controllers and all of the aviation safety professionals that NATCA represents remain committed to a goal of safety above all. We support modernization and want to be part of any plans to improve the safety and efficiency of the system. However, until the FAA embraces a collaborative relationship with its controllers and aviation safety professionals, beginning with a fair collective bargaining process and a contract we can ratify, the outlook for the workforce and the system remains grim.”


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