House and Senate staff members continued working last month to resolve differences in the two separate versions of FAA reauthorization legislation passed by their respective bodies in June, even though the House/Senate conference committee had yet to convene officially.
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Although the FAA has finally commissioned its first standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the agency has drastically reduced the number of systems it plans to install at the nation’s airports. And that has caused some people to question the FAA’s commitment to ATC modernization.
A bill introduced in the House of Representatives in late June provides a mechanism for resolving the longstanding contract dispute between the FAA and the air traffic controllers union. It also provides airline passengers with rights to “fair treatment” when facing significant delays due to weather or other extraordinary circumstances.
Both the House and the Senate passed their own versions of an FAA reauthorization bill last month, so differences between the two measures–and the threat of Presidential veto–must be resolved by a House/ Senate conference committee before Congress casts its final vote.
Even the hint of a privatized ATC system in the Bush Administration’s budget for fiscal year 2003 has “angered and disappointed” the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca). And AOPA is not too happy either.
A new runway and taxiway surveillance system, the Airport Movements Area Safety System (Amass), has gained the confidence of some air traffic controllers despite criticism of its performance by the NTSB. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) recounted two incidents at Boston Logan International Airport in which Amass is credited for alerting ATC in time to prevent runway collisions.
The FAA has banned pilots and air traffic controllers from taking the anti-smoking medicine Chantix. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices released in May the results of a study that found evidence for the occurrence of seizures, loss of consciousness, heart attacks, vision problems and various psychiatric instabilities in those using Chantix.
The issue of controller staffing is intensifying the long-running debate between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca). During a House aviation subcommittee hearing last month, Hank Krakowski, COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, and Natca president Pat Forrey debated the FAA’s current plan for controller hiring. Transportation Department inspector general Calvin Scovel III and Dr.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) in mid-June endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for president.
During a House aviation subcommittee hearing on air traffic controller facility staffing yesterday, Natca president Patrick Forrey charged that “rampant understaffing has caused a significant increase in controller workload and a subsequent need to increase the use of overtime, resulting in a dangerous and unsustainable rise in controller fatigue.” According to Forrey, “The total number of fully certified controllers left on board has fallen t