Union President Tells Congress "No More, 'It's My Way Or The Runway"


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Union President Tells Congress "No More, 'It's My Way Or The Runway"

By Eddy Metcalf

September 9, 2011 - The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) has joined the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), the Allied Pilots Association (APA) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), in calling for a quick resolution to the FAA reauthorization battle going on in Congress.  

The current extension will expire on September 16th and without some agreement between the two chambers of Congress the agency charged with maintaining the country's aviation infrastructure will go into a partial shutdown for the second time in as many months. 

"The Flight Attendants of American Airlines call on those lawmakers that are playing politics at the expense of our industry to pass a clean bill that guarantees a commitment to the nation's aviation system," said Laura Glading, APFA President.

"At the very least, we demand a clean, long-term extension to the current authorization so that the FAA can get back to work without the Sword of Damocles hanging over the agency. What we will no longer tolerate is obstructionist politicians saying, 'It's my way or the runway." 

A new FAA reauthorization bill is ideal because it will provide for improvements to the nation's airports, grow the American economy, and deliver thousands of new jobs. "It's ironic that Republicans are railing against so-called 'job-killing rules and regulations' yet they are happy to put thousands of existing jobs and thousands more potential jobs at risk in favor of petty politics," concluded Glading. 

"Congress could jeopardize the safety of the U.S. air transportation system and will risk thousands of airline employees' jobs by failing to pass a long-term FAA reauthorization bill that focuses on the FAA's core mission of providing the safest, most efficient aviation system in the world. We cannot allow political brinkmanship to again trump the safety of the flying public or the jobs of hard-working Americans," said Veda Shook, AFA International President. 

"The FAA reauthorization is essential to allowing our aviation system to grow safely and potentially add thousands of new jobs while securing the tens of thousands of current jobs in the airline sector. Congress must do what is right for U.S. passengers, right for the U.S. economy, and right for hard-working Americans. Congress must pass an FAA reauthorization bill now," added Shook.


The Air Line Pilots Association, Int?l (ALPA), called on Congress to pass a multi-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill to maintain the nation?s high level of aviation safety and end the risk to thousands of aviation employees? jobs if the current extension is allowed to expire on September 16. 

?It is time to get serious and put the safety of aviation in the United States ahead of partisan politics,? said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA?s president, following a news conference held today by ALPA at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. ?We are in critical need of a real bill that will provide the necessary funding to enhance the future safety and efficiency of our aviation system.? 

In failing to pass a long-term reauthorization, Congress put on hold safety projects and research programs that will help protect all who depend on safe air transportation. Vital initiatives including research into volcanic ash hazards, wake turbulence, alternative fuels, and windshear warning systems and efforts to make flying in icing conditions and operating aircraft on busy runways safer have come to a halt. 

Moreover, the lack of stable, long-term FAA funding has stalled critical work to modernize and upgrade the current air traffic control system to increase capacity and enhance efficiency. As a result, the United States may not be well positioned to meet future air transportation demand, and our country risks falling behind Europe and Asia as those regions continue to move ahead. The U.S. airline industry may find itself at an economic disadvantage in the global air transport arena.

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