WASHINGTON - Today, Mike Perrone, national president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (PASS), the union that represents 11,000 employees at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), released the following statement in response to President Trump’s budget that includes language supporting privatization of the air traffic control system:
“On behalf of the dedicated and professional federal employees at the FAA represented by PASS, I am extremely concerned that the president’s budget proposal calls for privatization of the air traffic control system. Splitting apart the FAA would remove the thousands of employees who work in the agency’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO), including those employees who certify, maintain and ensure the safety of the largest and most complex aviation system in the world.
“Privatizing the air traffic control system is a risky and unnecessary step at this pivotal point in modernization of the U.S. aviation system. True progress is being made in development and implementation of critical technology and systems through the initiatives and projects associated with the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Breaking apart the system at this point would reset the clock on progress and threaten this country’s status in the aviation community.
“Furthermore, according to a recent survey, the majority of Americans oppose privatization. As congressional leaders have pointed out, removing the air traffic control system from federal oversight would risk proper, safe and secure functioning of the aviation system. Americans disagree with privatization; many members of Congress disagree with privatization; and the majority of the aviation community disagrees with privatization. Simply put, those favoring privatization are those who would profit most from it. Privatization will turn over the air traffic control system to airlines — the same companies that are responsible for your shrinking seats, baggage fees and lost luggage. Do we really trust them to make the flying public’s interests their first priority?
“PASS members take pride in their work as public servants. This is not the time to gamble with the future of the world’s largest and safest aviation system.”