The NBAA calls on the White House to end controller furloughs
A group of aviation organisations, including the NBAA has called upon the White House to end the FAA controller furloughs.
The groups are 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.”