ICYMI: Natl Air Traffic Controllers Strongly Supports FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024

May 2, 2024

(WASHINGTON) – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) announced today its strong support of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2024. NATCA is holding its annual legislative conference, NATCA in Washington, this week, bringing nearly 400 NATCA members to Washington, D.C. to learn about grassroots activism and discuss legislative priorities before heading to Capitol Hill today and tomorrow to meet with Members of Congress and their staffs to advocate for the swift passage of the FAA reauthorization bill.

This groundbreaking legislation includes NATCA’s top legislative priorities, including requiring the FAA to conduct maximum hiring of new air traffic controller trainees for the next five years and to replace the Agency’s failed, finance-driven controller staffing model with one collaboratively developed by NATCA and the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization that meets all of the FAA’s operational, statutory, and contractual requirements. The legislation also directs the FAA to deploy tower simulator systems at all FAA towers to enhance and expedite training and requires FAA to study and implement expansion of the capacity of the FAA’s Training Academy.

“This legislation represents a historic opportunity to improve our National Airspace System. NATCA thanks House and Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle, and especially the bipartisan and bicameral leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by Chairman Sam Graves and Ranking Member Rick Larsen, as well as the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, led by Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Ted Cruz,” said NATCA President Rich Santa. “The provisions in this bill that address controller hiring, training, and staffing will, over the five-year authorization, make great improvements to staffing in our air traffic control facilities, reducing fatigue and improving safety and efficiency. NATCA’s members urge all Members of Congress to support the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 and pass it before the May 10 deadline.”

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union and aviation safety organization in the United States that represents nearly 20,000 highly skilled air traffic controllers, engineers, and other aviation safety-related professionals. NATCA was certified in 1987 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority to be the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, NATCA is one of the strongest labor unions in the federal sector and represents a range of aviation safety professionals in 15 FAA bargaining units, five Department of Defense air traffic facilities, and 123 federal contract towers. These air traffic controllers and other aviation safety professionals make vital contributions to the U.S. economy and make modern life possible by coordinating the safe, orderly, and expeditious movement of one billion aviation passengers and millions of tons of freight within the National Airspace System each year. NATCA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO.