...But PASS Sees A Diversion

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The same reports also brought a swift, and negative, response from the Professional Airways Systems Specialists (PASS), the union that represents FAA systems specialists. "America's armed services are there to respond to threats to our national security," said PASS President Tom Brantley, in a news release on Wednesday. "And they seem to be pretty occupied these days fulfilling their mission. To suggest injecting these dedicated men and women into the middle of a political food fight is just an attempt to divert attention from the real issue at hand -- selling certification of the air traffic control system to private interests." The current version of the bill would allow for systems specialists' jobs to be privatized, the union said. "PASS hopes that Congress will continue to work to pass an FAA reauthorization bill that protects the safety of the entire air traffic control system," Brantley said. "Aviation safety is a national priority and should not become a political football."