Controllers Explain How Shutdown Is Detrimental to Safety and Efficiency of the National Airspace System and Will Worsen Staffing Crisis

WASHINGTON – The partial government shutdown is now in its 24th day, and no resolution is in sight. In an effort to expand the discussion about the effects of the shutdown, members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) this morning have begun informational leafleting at targeted airports around the country. Participating air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals plan to engage with travelers to explain how the partial government shutdown is detrimental to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. Today, NATCA is beginning leafleting at airports in Atlanta; Dallas/Fort Worth; Minneapolis/St. Paul.; and Raleigh/Durham, N.C. NATCA members plan to expand these activities to about 50 additional airports around the country in coming days.

NATCA members will distribute brochures explaining how the shutdown results in air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals either being furloughed or being compelled to work without a timely paycheck. Participating members will explain how the shutdown will worsen a controller staffing crisis that has existed since a previous government shutdown in 2013. They will describe how the shutdown stopped all modernization projects at the FAA.

After the government shut down last month, NATCA began reaching out to lawmakers, the media, and other aviation stakeholders to advocate for an end to it. With this leafleting, NATCA will make an appeal directly to members of the public. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi explained, “This shutdown is now the longest in U.S. history. It is having unacceptable effects on our airspace system and the thousands of hard-working men and women who work tirelessly to maintain what is the safest and most efficient airspace system in the world. The shutdown must end immediately. Our union will not stop until the government reopens.”

LOCATIONS & TIMES FOR INITIAL LEAFLETING:

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Monday, Jan. 14, 8:00 a.m. EST until 6:00 p.m. EST 

Local NATCA contact for interviews: Dan McCabe, 678-334-1719, is at leafleting today, now until 6 p.m. EST

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
Monday, Jan. 14, 8:00 a.m. CST until 8:00 p.m. CST

Local NATCA contact for interviews: Nick Daniels, 817-320-5080, is at leafleting today through Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.; on Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. CST

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. International Airport (MSP)
Monday, Jan. 14, 7:00 a.m. CST until 7:00 p.m. CST
Local NATCA contact for interviews: Tony Walsh, 763-742-6708, is at leafleting today from 3-7 p.m. CST

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU)
Monday, Jan. 14, 12:00 p.m. EST until 5:00 p.m. EST

Local NATCA contact for interviews: Nicholas Stott, 251-545-7333, will be at leafleting today from 1-3 p.m. EST

LINK TO PDF COPY OF LEAFLET: Please click here

MORE INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST LOCAL CONTACT Doug Church, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; PREFER TEXTING PLEASE TO ENSURE QUICKER RESPONSE 301-346-8245, dchurch@natcadc.org.

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The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, 4 Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 102 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of nearly one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.