Who's Pushing Privatization?...

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Flight Services Union Worried...

The head of the union representing flight service station workers says he's afraid the privatization of the FSS system might become a political football. Wally Pike, president of the National Association of Air Traffic Specialists (NAATS), told AVweb there are indications the government might ram the deal through before next November's election. He said the FAA has been sticking to a December 2004 to March 2005 timeline for making a decision on privatization but he's recently been told by senior FAA officials that it could be moved up to October, less than a month after all the bid information from would-be contractors is due. "The October date is especially troublesome because it wouldn't give them (FAA) adequate time to review the proposals," said Pike. Pike said the October deadline, if genuine, would fly in the face of a commitment by Administrator Marion Blakey to wait until at least December. However, the current administration's hand might have been forced by a commitment from Democratic contender John Kerry to cancel the privatization process if he's elected.