FAA Puts New Controller Pact into Effect

 - November 17, 2006, 5:50 AM

With the failure of Congress to take any action in the contract dispute between the FAA and the air traffic controllers union, the agency arbitrarily put its last contract proposal into effect as yesterday’s deadline expired. The FAA declared an impasse on April 5 after nine months of negotiations with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association that the agency claimed cost taxpayers $2.3 million. As provided by federal law, the FAA then sent its offer and NATCA’s objections to Congress, which had 60 days to step in. According to the FAA, the average controller compensation package worth $165,900 today would grow to $187,000 over the life of the five-year contract. The FAA plans to operate under the old contract as the new pact is phased in. NATCA, which is seeking redress through Congress, accused the Transportation Department of spreading “fear and misinformation” on Capitol Hill. The union is also challenging the law that permits the FAA to impose the new contract.