Dear Sisters and Brothers,
On Monday afternoon, the Senate passed an amended version of the House-passed continuing resolution (CR; H.R. 195) to end the government shutdown and provide government funding for 17 days, through Feb. 8, 2018. The House then passed the amended CR. The President is expected to sign the CR into law later today. This funding legislation will allow the government to reopen and all federal employees to return to work. Further, the amended version of the CR provides back pay for those employees who were furloughed during the shutdown.
When furloughed aviation safety professionals are prohibited from working, the National Airspace System (NAS) suffers. We salute NATCA members for performing well under additional pressure while
maintaining the safety and efficiency of the system.
As our great Union begins to move forward and repair the extensive damage caused by this shutdown to NAS modernization and infrastructure efforts, we need to remember that we are in this together and cannot let false divisions form within our membership. We must continue to stand arm-in-arm, united during both the good times and the difficult times that test our character.
All controllers and aviation safety professionals in all bargaining units work together - in solidarity - to ensure that our NAS remains the gold-standard in aviation around the world.
Although NATCA's leaders are relieved that the current funding emergency has been resolved and that more than 3,000 NATCA-represented employees can return to work,
this latest example of political dysfunction further underscores the reality that the status quo is broken.
he NAS continues to be challenged by CRs and short-term extensions to FAA authorization, such as the 17-day CR that just passed.
These stop-and-go funding crises slow the hiring and training process for air traffic controllers and perpetuate the current staffing crisis, which has resulted in a 29-year low of certified professional controllers. The NAS requires and deserves a stable, predictable funding stream to adequately support our great professions with necessary air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization projects. To this end,
NATCA will continue to advocate for a stable, predictable funding stream.
Over the last three days, NATCA members sent nearly 4,500 emails to their senators calling for an end to the shutdown.
We thank all NATCA members who took swift action to email their senators, as we are always stronger when we stand together to face important issues with one voice.
We know that you have had a number of questions about the shutdown and how the furlough affects you. We have responded to those questions and also have made available a number of additional resources - such as
the Shutdown FAQ, Appendix P-4 from the Slate Book, and the Jan. 20 Furlough Implementation MOU -
which are still available
on the NATCA Website.
We also know that you are likely to have additional questions and concerns about the process for transitioning back to work after the shutdown. As a result, we will continue to field and answer your questions at
As always, we will monitor the government funding situation as the Feb. 8 deadline approaches, as well as advocate for all of the other issues that are important to our members and those that are critical to maintaining the safest, most efficient, most complex, and most diverse aviation system in the world. We will keep you apprised of further developments as we approach the next deadline.
Paul Rinaldi, NATCA President
Trish Gilbert, NATCA Executive Vice President