FAA Urged To Send Volunteers To Tsunami Areas…

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NATCA Offers Expertise

The FAA is being urged to send volunteers to the relief effort in South Asia to help iron out the transportation infrastructure problems that are hampering the tsunami disaster relief efforts. National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President John Carr says the 20,000 members of his union could provide invaluable on-site assistance to get aid flowing smoothly in the region. He wrote FAA Administrator Marion Blakey on Tuesday offering the union's help. In addition to controllers, the union represents professionals in disciplines ranging from architecture to finance, and many are frustrated at being able to do no more than sign a donation check. Reports Tuesday indicated that the increasingly crowded skies over some areas combined with few accommodating airstrips are straining the local air traffic control system. Carr said the union also represents critical-incident stress debriefers who could help victims and relief workers cope with the overwhelming emotional and psychological strain of dealing with the tsunami's aftermath. "These men and women were instrumental in assisting FAA employees to recover from the traumatic events of September the 11th," Carr wrote. Carr also pledged the support of NATCA members who stay behind to put in extra effort to keep things running smoothly at home.