King, McCarthy Applaud Our Nation's Air Traffic Controllers

Press Release

Date: July 27, 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Transportation

Today, Rep. Peter King joined Rep. Carolyn McCarthy in expressing gratitude to air traffic controllers nationwide, for the calm and professional manner in which they handle traffic throughout the year. McCarthy introduced a resolution, H.Res. 1401, that was passed on the House of Representatives floor, conveying thanks to air traffic controllers for their contributions in keeping the traveling public safe and the nation's air space running efficiently. Every day, air traffic controllers are responsible for averting accidents and disasters in the sky and on the ground.

"Air traffic controllers work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year long to keep the traveling public safe and keep our nation's airspace running efficiently," said Rep. McCarthy. "They handle dangerous and complex situations in a calm and professional manner, often times working long shifts in dark rooms and monitoring many planes at one time. We must ensure that our air traffic controllers have the resources they need to do their job as best they can and make sure that they have the resources and technology needed to carry out their mission."

Representative, Peter King, was a strong supporter and cosponsor of this resolution. "Our nation's air traffic controllers work long and hard to keep our air passengers safe and our planes running on time," said King. "I am proud to support all our nation's controllers for their hard work and dedication, and I give special thanks to those in the New York area who safely direct tens of thousands of planes each day through the most congested airspace in the country."

There are more than 15,600 air traffic controllers that are responsible for almost one billion passengers each year. In addition, there are about 1,250 civilian contract controllers and more than 9,000 military controllers who also provide air traffic services. These men and women help to make sure that air travel runs efficiently so that planes avoid dangerous weather and so travelers reach their destinations as quickly as possible.

Currently, air traffic control facilities around the country are facing staffing challenges, with an aging workforce and wave of retirements. These staffing shortages are a major concern especially in the State of New York, where our controllers handle thousand of flights every day departing, arriving, and traveling through the tightly packed New York airspace. This resolutions calls for a greater investment in the modernization of the nation's air traffic control system, which will create jobs and have an environmental, performance, and safety benefit. In addition, we need to ensure that our air traffic facilities are fully staffed with experienced controllers in order to run in the most efficient way to ensure the safety and welfare of the flying public.

"I look forward to the completion of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill and working with the committee to ensure that the needs of our air traffic controllers are met," said Rep. McCarthy. "In addition, I thank Representative Peter King for his support of this resolution and in support of our nation's air traffic controllers."