The Federal Aviation Administration named agency veteran Teri Bristol as the new chief operating officer of its Air Traffic Organization (ATO), which is responsible for managing the U.S. ATC system. Administrator Michael Huerta announced the appointment in an email to employees on March 21.
Both the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Independent Pilots Association (IPA) applauded last week’s announcement of new legislation in the U.S. Senate–S.1692, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)–to include cargo pilots in the new Part 117 flight and duty time regulations that take effect January 4 next year. FedEx pilots are ALPA members, while UPS pilots are represented by the IPA.
Boeing will consider other locations to assemble its new 777X after its machinists union voted down a proposed contract extension that was described as critical to basing work on the new widebody in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said Boeing will assemble the new 777X widebody and build its carbon fiber composite wing in the Puget Sound region of his state, an economic windfall that depends on Boeing’s machinists’ union ratifying a new contract and the state Legislature approving an incentives package.
The pilots of US Airways regional subsidiary PSA Airlines ratified a letter of agreement in late September that grants them the right to fly thirty 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900s in return for several concessions in their Air Line Pilots Association collective bargaining agreement.
Members of United Auto Workers Local 218 have ratified a new five-year contract with Bell Helicopter (Booth No. C9343). The five-year pact covers 2,500 machinists and other manufacturing workers in Texas.
Union members had been working at Bell since June without a contract as negotiations over health care and pension benefits bogged down. They staged a one-day strike September 5.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) wasted no time after the U.S. government’s reopening to highlight the damage it says has been done to the country’s aviation system, reminding users that getting things rolling again may not be as simple as flipping a switch.
At Capitol Hill on Thursday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) was joined by NBAA, ALPA, GAMA, NATA, HAI and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (Pass) in a rally against the government shutdown. Heavy rain, as well as Capitol security, dampened attendance to about 150 people, who were supplied by Natca with matching signage and shirts.
The U.S. government shutdown could have “grave repercussions on the [ATC] system,” Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), told an October 10 rally. “The furlough of thousands of aviation safety professionals is eliminating critical layers of redundancy and safety that keep the system operating safely and efficiently. The shutdown has also interrupted the flow of hiring, training and innovation,” he said.
An August 27 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG) concludes that none of the 49 suggestions related to the hiring and training of new air traffic controllers outlined in the FAA’s independent review panel two years ago have been implemented.
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