The FAA’s Hank Krawkowski testified before the Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Security today, and summarized the last year’s worth of movement on ATC issues as well as the development of NextGen planning. One of the more interesting portions of Krakowski’s prepared remarks came at the very end, where he specifically addressed the labor dispute between the FAA and the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers:
I know that this Committee has always been interested in how FAA has interacted with our labor unions, and I would like to address that briefly. In his confirmation hearing before this Committee, Secretary LaHood made it very clear that resolving labor disputes was one of his top priorities for the FAA, and that he was seeking to fill the FAA Administrator position with someone who had the people skills to resolve our outstanding issues with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). As someone who has sat on both sides of the labor debate, I fully support the Secretary’s priority on this.
Our controllers, indeed, our entire workforce, are our most valuable assets in ensuring the safety of the traveling public. As such, we have included controllers in all phases of NextGen so far. Controller input has come from individual controllers who have been invited to participate in NextGen development, though they were not participating as official NATCA representatives. NATCA does have a seat on the NextGen Management Board, the governance structure that we originally put in place as our framework for achieving NextGen. I look forward to moving ahead towards a resolution of our differences. These have been challenging times for us, and I want to commend all the hard work that has occurred on both sides.
The full transcript is available here.