Industry reaction has been mostly positive to President Bush’s nomination of acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell to a five-year term to lead the agency. “We are extremely pleased by the White House’s decision to nominate Bobby Sturgell as the next FAA Administrator,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Industry reaction has been mostly positive to President Bush’s nomination Tuesday of acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell to a five-year term to lead the agency. “We are extremely pleased by the White House’s decision to nominate Bobby Sturgell as the next FAA Administrator,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
The ink was scarcely dry on an FAA press release about successfully hiring new controllers when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) said it begs to differ with the agency’s conclusions. On Friday, the FAA said it exceeded its air traffic controller staffing targets for the fiscal year that ended on September 30 by hiring more than 1,800 controllers during the year, topping the FY06 year-end total by 256 controllers.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) claims that a shortage of full-performance level (FPL) controllers at the Chicago Tracon–the nation’s third-busiest approach control facility–has brought the level of safety below an “acceptable” level, and the union has asked the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to intervene.
With runway incursions averaging one a day and close calls averaging one every 10 days, the Transportation Department’s inspector general has called on the FAA to follow through on its plans to train pilots to avoid runway incursions and use technology to warn pilots and controllers of potential incidents.
The Reason Foundation, a West Coast public policy think tank that promotes privatization of government, challenged the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) report that denounced ATC privatization, claiming that “corporatized” air traffic control providers handle more than 80 percent of the world’s air traffic and that safety has improved in countries such as Canada and the UK since these nations corporatized operations.
Privatization of the U.S. ATC system is a solution in search of a problem, according to a report commissioned by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA).
Rumor has it the Bush Administration intends to sell off ATC to the highest bidder. As is the case with most rumors, there is a kernel of truth around which a mass of misunderstanding and misinformation has grown.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) said two business jets had to take evasive action at 28,000 feet and about 60 miles northeast of Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon to avoid the possibility of colliding while en route to Las Vegas McCarran Airport. The incident involved a NetJets Cessna Citation X and a Learjet 60.
Six aviation associations last month submitted a joint letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging it to support full funding of the FAA’s federal contract tower program. The 223 federal contract towers at smaller airports in 46 states represent 45 percent of all towers in the U.S. and handle approximately 25 percent of all control-tower operations in the U.S., according to the letter.