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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, September 03, 2007

Attention Passengers in the Terminal-- the Bush Administration Doesn't Give a Crap About You

By Keith Schmitz

The Associated Press reports flying has gotten a lot less safer lately because of the usual motivations of the Bush Administration - money (read lower taxes) and its dislike for organized labor.

And you, Mister and Misses airline passenger -- get cuaght in the middle.
"In several places, it (the labor clash between the FAA and the air traffic controller union) has created a safety problem where controllers are working 10-hour days, 6-day weeks and working combined positions because they don't have enough fully trained bodies," union President Patrick Forrey said.

Of course, this hasn't made the job all that attractive.
FAA figures show the number of fully certified controllers dropped to 11,467 in May -- the lowest in a decade the union says. Beside them in control centers are 3,300 so-called "developmental controllers" who are being trained on the job by other controllers. The trainees are not yet qualified for all work assignments required of fully certified controllers.
There have been a number of near misses at airports as a result. Sadly it's only a matter of time.

But hey, according to the head of the FAA has saved $1.9 billion over five years.

Hmmm, that'll cash into money we blow in Iraq in a week.

But just like the planes waiting to arrive at airports across the country we know how the priorities stack up.

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