Bush's Decision to Privatize Air Traffic Control is 'Beyond Comprehension'

"This decision was a direct repudiation to large bipartisan votes in both the House and Senate for legislation that would permanently prohibit privatization of air traffic control.... And it defies common sense. Just last year, Congress and the administration mandated that all baggage screeners must be federal employees. After the catastrophic failure of private contractors on Sept. 11, 2001, it was determined that checking passengers' bags as they board aircraft was too important to be left to the private sector. And here we are, a year later, deciding that the infinitely more complex and critical job of air traffic control can be contracted out to companies more concerned with cutting corners than protecting the safety of our skies.... Why the White House would want to risk this high standard of safety is beyond comprehension."

Homeland Insecurity: Bush Targets Air Traffic Controllers in Campaign to Privatize Federal Jobs

Harry Kelber writes, "Ignoring potential risks to the safety of air travelers, Resident Bush is pressing Congress to allow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to contract out the jobs of air traffic controllers to low-bidding private companies. As openers, the Bush administration wants to privatize some 2,000 controller jobs at Flight Service Stations and those of hundreds of employees at 69 traffic control towers. If it succeeds, the administration hopes to turn over the entire air control operation to private competition. To achieve its purpose, the White House is conducting a full-press lobbying effort to reverse a bipartisan vote by both the Senate and House to prohibit the privatization of air traffic control services. But enough Republicans have switched to support privatization, that the Resident may get his wish. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is adamantly opposed to the privatization plan."