Natca Puts Onus of Recommendations on FAA

 - April 12, 2007, 11:15 AM

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) is placing the burden of the NTSB’s recommendations squarely on the FAA. “Controller schedules were imposed on the controller workforce last September with little to no input [from controllers], let alone negotiations,” said a Natca spokesman. He dismissed FAA statements that controller schedules are “negotiated” with the union and that schedule changes require approval from employees. Instead, “The agency, through its imposed work rules, now routinely changes controller assigned shifts, without regard to fatigue issues,” Natca claims. “Additionally, the agency has publicly stated that it will deny controllers sick leave when they report too fatigued/tired to work at 100 percent.” This has allowed staffing to reach “crisis levels,” Natca says, “requiring [controllers at] many facilities to work six-day work weeks. The FAA needs limits. Congress must restore fair collective bargaining to ensure the safety of the system is met.”