...FAA Says Privatization Not On Agenda...

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FAA chief spokesman Greg Martin said the agency's position on privatization is clear. "If we've said it once, we've said it a hundred times, we have no plans to privatize air traffic control," Martin said. (A different issue than user fees.) He said Blakey has two clear goals for her tenure. She wants to reduce the cost of the controllers' contract and create a "stable and sustainable" revenue stream for the agency. Martin said most of Carr's comments were "the same old rhetoric" that has been debated before. The agency recently asked the union to agree to speed up the current round of bargaining but Carr said Wednesday the union is happy with the current schedule. In response to NATCA allegations that the agency was dragging its feet with the negotiations, the FAA suggested five-day-a-week sessions in Washington. The current schedule calls for alternating two-week and one-week sessions with breaks between. Carr said the breaks are important to react to proposals from the other side and formulate new proposals to take to the table. He said the current schedule was agreed to last May and the union will stick to it.