The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
United States Senate
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid:
On behalf of workers in the aviation and related industries we urge the Senate to pass the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill before the 111th Congress adjourns. Last week Congress passed the 16th short-term funding extension of the FAA, and after three years of delay, only a few legislative days remain for Congress to act on FAA Reauthorization this year.
For the workers we represent, passage of a comprehensive, multi-year FAA Reauthorization is absolutely critical. This legislation presents an opportunity to ensure collective bargaining rights for FAA employees, to protect the safety and health of flight attendants in the aircraft cabin, to strengthen federal rules and oversight of aircraft maintenance performed at foreign repair stations, to improve the safety of aircraft operations, and to level the playing field for express carrier workers. In addition, this legislation will create 300,000 jobs at a time when our economy continues to struggle and too many Americans are out of work.
Across the country airports are operating at capacity, travelers are dealing with increasingly longer delays, runway mishaps have continued to grow and our air traffic control system is aging. Investment and modernization provisions included in this multi-year reauthorization will go a long way toward addressing these issues. Simply put, workers and the traveling public cannot afford another short-term funding extension.
The aviation system is a critical component of our national transportation network. It generates nearly $900 billion in economic activity annually, represents 9 percent of our gross domestic product (GDP) and employs millions of aviation workers throughout the economy. The FAA forecasts that by 2021 passenger traffic will increase 49 percent to 1.16 billion passengers annually. Our aviation system plays a significant role in our national economy and will continue to do so well into the future. It is imperative that Congress reauthorize the FAA to ensure that the system is well-funded and can handle this anticipated growth.
Again, transportation labor urges the Senate to complete work on FAA Reauthorization before the 111th Congress adjourns. The American traveling public and aviation workers across the country are relying upon Congress to act quickly and finally pass FAA Reauthorization. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
John Prater, President
Air Line Pilots Association
Gerald McEntee, President
American Federation of State, County and
Patricia Friend, International President
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA
Robert Roach, General Vice President
International Association of Machinists and
Greg Junemann, President
International Federation of Professional
and Technical Engineers
Terence O’Sullivan, President
Laborers’ International Union of North America
Paul Rinaldi, President
National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Michael Goodwin, President
Office and Professional Employees
Tom Brantley, President
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists
Edward Wytkind, President
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
James Little, President
Transport Workers Union of America
Leo W. Gerard, President
United Steel Workers
Mike Futhey, International President
United Transportation Union
cc: The Honorable Richard J. Durbin
The Honorable John D. Rockefeller