Reaction To Senate Passage Of FAA Bill Continues To Be Positive
March 26, 2010
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  • Flight Attendants, Air Transport Association, Airports Organization All Give Bill Boffo Reviews

    The latest reaction to Monday’s vote in the U.S. Senate passing the FAA reauthorization bill is from The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), representing 50,000 flight attendants at 22 airlines, and the Air Transport Association, the airlines’ trade association.

    The AFA commended the Senate for taking action on this long-delayed legislation. They say the Senate version of the bill contains several key flight attendant provisions.

    “The FAA Reauthorization includes several workplace safety and health protections for flight attendants that have been ignored for far too long. We are thankful to the Senate for recognizing their importance and including these crucial measures in the bill,” said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President.

    Among the AFA-CWA-supported measures that were included in the Senate’s bill were: a follow-up on the results of a FAA flight attendant fatigue study; OSHA workplace safety and health protections; cabin air quality provisions that would identify the equipment and technologies available to detect and filter highly toxic contaminants in the air supply; English language standards for flight attendants; and a “Return to the Cabin” program that will allow flight attendants an opportunity for rehabilitation after testing positive for drug or alcohol abuse.

    “AFA-CWA is especially grateful to Senators Harry Reid, Kirsten Gillibrand, Charles Schumer and Richard Durbin for their commitment to the passage of this crucial bill and helping to protect flight attendants across the country.”

    The Air Transport Association pointed out some of the differences between the Senate and House bills it feels are beneficial to the airline industry.

    “We are pleased that the Senate passed legislation that accomplishes many of the key priorities needed for a healthy and competitive aviation industry. The bill is a vast improvement on legislation passed by the House of Representatives,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May. “The Senate demonstrated much appreciated leadership and bipartisanship by including language authorizing the FAA to issue grants to help fund NextGen avionics equipage — a critical first step in ensuring that the benefits of air traffic control modernization can be realized sooner rather than later.”

    May added that he is extremely pleased the bill recognizes that passengers and commercial air carriers already are bearing a disproportionate tax burden by rejecting any increases in taxes and fees.

    ATA also noted that:

    •Unlike the House bill, it does not include an unwarranted increase in the Passenger Facility Charge to $7.
    •It rejects the House approach to punitive measures on foreign repair stations by establishing language that would not violate current bilateral agreements.
    •Unlike the House bill, it contains no provisions that are detrimental to the carriers’ ability to rely on antitrust immunity granted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
    And The Alliance for Aviation Across America, which is an airport advocacy orgainzation, added their voice to those who are pleased with the passage of the Senate bill.

    “We commend the Senate for passing this critical piece of legislation, which will continue the important process of modernizing our air traffic control system to a Next Generation Air Traffic Control, or ‘NextGen,’ system based on satellite technology,” the organization said in a statement. “In passing this bill, Senate leaders recognize the need to invest in the nation’s aviation system, so that everyone … including small towns and rural areas … benefit.

    “Importantly, the bill raises the necessary funding for modernization by building on the existing, pay-at-the-pump fuel tax, which is simple, efficient and easy to use. The bill also supports the Airport Improvement Program, which is crucially important for small airports across the country, many of which do not have commercial airline service, and which serve as a lifeline for businesses, medical care providers, disaster relief workers, law enforcement officials and a host of other important services for small towns and communities across the country,” the statement said.

    Source: AERO NEWS
    Date: 2010-03-25