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NBAA Calls on White House to End FAA Controller Furloughs
Contact: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]
Washington, DC, April 24, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has joined 11 aviation groups in petitioning the White House to provide the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the funding flexibility it needs to avoid one-day-per-pay-period furloughs of air traffic control personnel.
The furloughs are the result of budget reductions forced upon the FAA following sequestration cuts that went into effect on March 1. To deal with the cuts, the FAA has announced traffic management initiatives, including spacing aircraft farther apart for takeoffs and landings, at airports and facilities around the country, which it has said may cause a wide range of flight delays.
In an April 19 letter to White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough, the aviation groups call the furloughs, "an unprecedented occurrence that is very concerning to those of us in the aviation community."
The letter points out that controllers in the past have been exempt from furloughs for an important reason: "These frontline safety professionals perform an essential service in facilitating commerce in our country by maintaining a safe and efficient National Airspace System (NAS)." The aviation groups add that controller staffing "should always be based on traffic flow demands, with the safety and efficiency of the system the foremost consideration."
The industry groups also noted that other federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration and Customs and Border Protection, "have taken steps to ensure they will not need to furlough employees in order to reach the required budget reductions," while adding that many legal experts believe the FAA already has the flexibility it needs to avoid furloughing controllers.
In closing, the aviation groups said: "Without action, it will be challenging for air traffic to continue to operate at its current rate of high efficiency," noting that they "have always been dedicated to enhancing the efficiency and capacity of the NAS."
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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.
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