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Sequester cuts: FAA?should follow Holder’s example

April 5, 2013
 
 
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(25)

joew

Apr-09-13 9:12 PM

How much more should we raise taxes Judeye? We just had a 600 billion dollar tax increase in January. How much more should people pay and what effect will it have? STOP THE INSANE SPENDING!!! A 8 Billion dollar increase in head start,for what,what has it accomplished?

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judeye

Apr-09-13 5:11 PM

The real question we should be asking is why are some in Congress protecting the very wealthy at the expense of the rest of us? Really to raise taxes on the most wealthy is off the table for some many GOP congress folks..yet cuts to ss, medicare, head start, military, etc are on the table for cuts.

Ask..just who are they representing? It clearly is not ME or my family or most of the people I know.

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PhilJulian

Apr-06-13 9:21 AM

Sequester amounted to about a 2% cut in spending. If they can't find ways to cut spending by 2% then maybe we need a new government. The FAA and elimination of White House Tours are being publicised simply to get the public's attention and gain support for restoration of the spending. I personally believe the cuts should have been 20% - not 2%.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 5:14 PM

The best part about doing work for the FAA was waving my FAA acess badge at TSA checkpoints whenever I flew - - got me through lines in a flash every time I did that.

:-)

That doens't happen, though, when I fly with my wife on trips/vacations. Every time - and I mean every time - they pick her out of the crowd, swab for explosives, and usually take her into "the back room" for the invasive pat-down.

Well, it's happend now 8 times in a row - she's been counting and she's ticked. It's taken us as long as 30 minutes to get through security.

I guess she "fits the profile" - petite, middle-aged, blonde, fair skin. Yeah, right. I was told by a TSA manager they're always on tape and must "seek out" obvious "normal folk" so they don't get accused of profiling. Unreal...

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joew

Apr-05-13 2:55 PM

Dcronig-fact-the FAA is using 30 year old data, they admitted that and are reviewing now current data! fact-the FAA has authority to move funding intra agency. Go to the FAA site and read it for yourself. You are wrong just as you were regarding the Federal budget process.I use ALL media outlets but then go to other sources to verify just as I did in this case.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 2:48 PM

Reagan broke the ATC union, but that was over 30 years ago, and the current union (NATCA) is very, very strong.

Earlier today, I read an OPM whistleblower report that dealt with the regional air traffic center for NYC. It called out the fact non-union supervisors were scared "s-l" of the union and afraid to report staff for obvious FAA violations. (An OPM audit noted 48% - 48% - of controllers in that center were routinely in violation of safety/FAA regs.)

A lot of controllers were hired after the Reagan bloodletting, and they're all coming up on retirement age, i.e., don't rock the boat and we don't want to learn new things.

We had to test a new national air traffic control system for the FAA "in the field" - billions in tax dollars - and the union refused to cooperate, delaying testing for 4 months at a cost of over $3M/month.

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 2:15 PM

Again, relative to what work they do, I have no clue, just saying what I've been told. Relative to what everyone makes for a salary, and how they view what everyone else makes, I'll stand by that statement.

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 2:14 PM

I thought Reagan knocked the cr_p out of the ATC's Union back in the 80's?

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 1:55 PM

Sorry, Paul, but I’ve been inside airport control towers and regional radar centers, and have “plugged in” to national air traffic control systems alongside air traffic controllers. I’ve seen the work being done and how hectic (or not) the job is.

Heck, during off-peak hours, they sometimes fall asleep, as has been documented at several airports in recent years. Ex: In 2011 two passenger jets landed at Reagan National in DC – highly restricted airspace – all by their lonesomes because the tower was asleep.

Turnover is very low – most don’t quit, they “retire out” at 50-55. And guys who fall asleep “with planes in the air?” Still on the job – the union is the tail that wags the dog. First-hand knowledge: Many non-union supervisors are afraid to file safety violation complaints against controllers because, you might be surprised to learn, retaliation flows up rather than down.

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FredoniaFred

Apr-05-13 1:16 PM

The small airports like Jamestown that have commercial service, do not have an ATC. They rely on Erie who hands them off to Clevland after departure.

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 11:53 AM

I'm not an ATC, but from what I've been told, it's a hugely stressful job at larger airports. Funny thing about salaries and benefits, people always seem to think THEY make too little, and everyone else makes too much. Sort of like CEO's of major companies, who often get paid 7 figures to LEAVE when they get FIRED, not retired. Take a look at the retirement package for a Mr. Welch the former CEO of GE, you can find it online as it became a public record when his wife filed for divorce.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 11:41 AM

Want a great job? Be an air traffic controller.

(1) An 8-hour shift, but only 4 hrs/day “on the screen” (a half hour at a time) – the rest is breaks, training, etc.

(2) Start around $55k at a small airport; in 3-5 years you’ll be over $100k. If you work at a large airport like JFK, you’ll make $175-200,000/year. (The average ATC pay is $109,000.)

(3) 13-28 vacation days/yr + 13 personal days + 10 holidays.

(4) Retire as early as age 50 (with 20 years of service), or at 55 with a full pension.

(5) Your pension is 55% of the average of your last 3 years. So if you averaged $150k, your pension is $82.500/yr.

While at a large defense contractor, I worked with some guys who were retired ATCs in their 50s and were pulling down a pension + a F/T salary.

No wonder the ATC union wants to keep those small airports open...

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 11:13 AM

Many of these small airports see just one flight a day; some as few as just two per week.

You'd think they could figure out a safe traffic pattern for that OR use an adjoining larger aiport's radar coverage. (Yes, that'd work for such a small volume of air traffic.)

Some are near the headquarters of multi-billion-dollar companies that donate to their local Representative's re-election campaigns. (Gee, what a coincidence.)

The air traffic controllers union (NATCA) has criticized the move. (Why am I not surprised.)

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 10:51 AM

That was not profanity blocked. It was the same word describing what you do with a straw. Odd.

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 10:50 AM

The results of the sequester cuts are hardly over. I'll take a wait and see before I decide what was the right thing to do. I will say, any government entity could usually cut a minimum of 15% from any program without touching the actual work of the program or it's base purpose. How? Easy, cut the excessive political hiring at the top. Will it happen? Of course not, that would require BOTH sides of the aisle to stop rewarding political favors with government jobs. Bureaucracy is like a cancer. It grows and while it's growing it ***** the nutrients from the main body.

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Christopher

Apr-05-13 10:44 AM

Dcronlg, I was about to hit "agree" until I got to your last sentence. It really wasn't all that funny to begin with, now it's like fingers on a blackboard and only takes away from your main points.

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killers

Apr-05-13 10:10 AM

Simple minds i can see are still at work. It has been amazing that one agency after another was able to find or redirect money to eliminate or soften the blow of the cuts. I give credit to the Republicans for calling the Obama's bluff.

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PhilJulian

Apr-05-13 10:01 AM

There may be an answwer to the problem of prison guards - don't put so many people in prison. A good whipping might be alot more effective for minor offenses and it would be much cheaper.

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Dcronlg

Apr-05-13 9:59 AM

It would behoove JoeW to stop parroting FoxNews as his only resource, as they have been documented to mislead and misinform, time and time again.

The editorial was comparing an agency head to a single agency -- t was a deliberate apples and oranges comparison.

And you're wrong, Joew -- the FAA can't simply shift $s around and no, they don't have the simple authority to do so. Air traffic controlling -- the towers -- have an entirely different strategic operational function than the other programs. By law and FAA regulations, traffic controlling budgets and operations are within a totally strategic management sphere, separate from the rest -- for all obvious reasons of safety, traffic and commerce.

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FredoniaFred

Apr-05-13 9:27 AM

FedEx has a terminal at the Jamestown airport and a contract with the county to supply a useable runway for their planes.

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FredoniaFred

Apr-05-13 9:23 AM

The commercial flights can be stopped at Jasmestown airport but the airport cannot be closed without refunding about $18M in improvement grants to the FAA.

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DKexpat

Apr-05-13 9:15 AM

We taxpayers are getting soaked three ways:

First, the FAA’s cost to staff air traffic controllers at these small airports.

Second, the FAA’s Airport Improvement program – a favorite of Congress for earmarks.

Third – and the most mind-boggling is the FAA’s Essential Air Service program.

We pay $226 million – per year – TO AIRLINES to provide small-plane services to 112 small airports. Sometimes as few as two flights/week.

That’s right – we subsidize airline service with our tax dollars, and we pay for every seat on every flight – even the empty seats!

NYS has six small airports in that scam, including Lake Placid, Massena, Plattsburg and, oh, Jamestown - - which costs taxpayers approx. $2 million/year to PAY Silver Airways for them providing Jamestown flights.

Close ‘em all down and save all of us some money.

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joew

Apr-05-13 9:11 AM

Dcronig-The FAA can transfer funds between programs,that authority exists.

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Dcronlg

Apr-05-13 8:48 AM

Why?...the simple minds want to know...duh...

Atty General Holder is head of the entire Justice Department and all its agencies.

The FAA is a separate agency within the Transportation Dept., which is headed by Sec Ray LaHood -- a REPUBLICAN.

Holder is telling his agencies what to do and clearly, so is GOPer LaHood.

Duuuhhh...the clueless church lady gaggle OBSERVER board strikes again...

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joew

Apr-05-13 6:39 AM

Funding of many towers is based on 30 yr old data. Many of those contractor operated towers are no longer needed,a fact the FAA "overlooked",(ahem)but is now reviewing!

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