Controllers angered over Schiavo quote

 - April 16, 2008, 5:47 AM

National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr reacted angrily to former DOT inspector general Mary Schiavo’s citing of controller safety concerns over expansion plans at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Carr said the union endorses expansion of the airport “unequivocally.” He added, “We enthusiastically support the proposed legislation for its intended purpose to expand aviation capacity in the Chicago area.”

Controller concerns are being addressed through participation in the planning and development of the runway proposal, Carr noted. “To think we would operate O’Hare unsafely due to its run-way configuration flies straight in the face of operations at hundreds of airports that operate day in and day out without the benefit of diagonal runways.”

Runway incursions, meanwhile, have been headed downward, by 12 percent last year and almost 30 percent this year to date (134 through May compared with 168 through May last year), Carr noted.