FAA Bill Delayed in House by Controller Staffing

 - June 12, 2007, 10:07 AM

Where is the House’s version of the FAA funding bill? That is the question industry is asking as time draws short to get it through committee and passed on the full floor. A spokesman for the Republican minority confirmed to AIN that the current delay stems from the issue of controller staffing. “Committee leaders urged the FAA and NATCA [the controllers’ union] to resolve their differences,” he said. While the Democrats want to see controllers given a chance to renegotiate with the FAA, Republican leaders are opposed to any such language being included in the bill. The spokesman said the President would veto the bill if the language was included. An FAA spokeswoman confirmed that talks were ongoing and that the agency was attempting to “settle with the union on issues.” Meanwhile, user fees are “not expected to be [included in the bill],” the Republican spokesman said. “There won’t be too many radical changes in the financing area,” he said. Committee mark-up is currently scheduled for next week, though that schedule could shift again, pending the outcome of the controller negotiations.