Aviation groups urge White House to exempt controllers from furloughs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the FAA begins furloughing air traffic controllers, 11 aviation organizations have asked the White House to assure the FAA it will have enough money to prevent further furloughing of controllers.

In a letter to Denis McDonough, White House Chief of Staff, the aviation leaders said without action, it will be challenging for air traffic to continue to operate at its current rate of high efficiency.

They told McConough the reason air traffic controllers had been exempt from previous government furloughs is “these frontline safety professionals perform an essential service in facilitating commerce in our country by maintaining a safe and efficient National Airspace System.”

They added that controller staffing should always be based on traffic flow demands.

Other federal security agencies, they said, such as the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, Meat Inspectors, and Bureau Of Prisons have been given steps to avoid furloughing, but the FAA has not. They urged the White House to grant the FAA similar flexibility.

The letter, sent Friday, April 19, was signed by: Capt. Lee Moak, President of the Air Line Pilots Association, Peter Dumont, President and CEO, Air Traffic Control Association, Craig Fuller, President and CEO, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Nicholas Calio, President and CEO, Airlines for America, Veda Shook, President, Association of Flight Attendants, Paul Rinaldi, President, National Air Traffic Controllers Association, Thomas Hendricks, President and CEO, National Air Transportation Association, Edward Bolen, President and CEO National Aviation Business Association, John Malmborg, President Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, and James Little, International President, Transport Workers Union of America.


  1. says

    President Ronald Reagan in 1981 fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers The sweeping mass firing of federal employees slowed commercial air travel, but it did not cripple the system.

  2. Richard says

    The FAA needs to cut a bunch of the “Fat” in headquarters and in some of their regional offices. Gettin rid of some of their lawyers would go a long way in saving money too. I would be willing to bet that in a year or so, the FAA bureaucracy will have grown a bunch. Seems that all Federal Bureaucracies do that.

  3. Otto H. Keesling says

    What is this Administration trying to do, encourage air traffic controllers to strike. They struck in 1981 for a lessor reason. This is pure crazy and a serious breach of air safety.

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