Air Traffic Controllers Ready To Talk

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Contract talks between the FAA and air traffic controllers remain at impasse, but John Carr, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), claims it doesn't have to be that way. "We have always been dedicated to good-faith bargaining and a voluntary agreement, and we still believe both good faith and an agreement are possible," he said in a news release on Tuesday. Carr was responding to Monday's AVweb story that quoted an FAA spokesman who said the agency would welcome renewed talks if there was some movement from NATCA on the issue of new-hire pay scales. On March 31, NATCA circulated a press release stating in its headline, "...Talks Break Down." "We want to continue bargaining with the agency in hopes that both sides can find that elusive common ground," Carr said. "The FAA wants a voluntary agreement and so do we. The place to find that agreement is at the table, not in the Congress." The FAA declared an impasse on April 5 and sent the last offer from both sides to Congress for resolution. Congress has 60 days to act upon the matter or the last offer becomes the new contract.