Sinema Continues Work Improving U.S. Air Traffic Control System

Sep 25, 2019

During Senate hearing, Sinema highlights the importance of Arizona air traffic controllers in keeping our airspace safe

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema helped lead a Senate Subcommittee on Aviation and Space hearing on how to improve air traffic control in the United States. Sinema underscored the need for Congress to do its job and keep the government funded in order to maintain a safe and efficient airspace.

“Arizona is home to one of the largest airports in the country, the world’s busiest general aviation airport, as well as smaller commercial airports and military installations. With our complex airspace, our air traffic controllers need the best technologies to keep us safe,” said Sinema.

During the hearing, Sinema shared the story of Aaron, an Arizona air traffic controller who works at the Prescott Regional Airport. Three of Aaron’s children have chronic illnesses, and his wife stepped down from her job in order to care for them. After working for more than a month without a paycheck during the last government shutdown, Aaron had to decide between paying for his children’s medical treatment and putting food on the table.

Sinema remarked that the bipartisan Aviation Funding Stability Act would provide funding for all FAA activities and pay our air traffic controllers in the event of a government shutdown by utilizing the Airport and Airway Trust Fund.

In July, the Senate Commerce Committee passed Sinema’s bipartisan Air Traffic Control Hiring Reform Act, which accelerates air traffic control hiring and gives priority to veterans and graduates of certain specialized schools, such as ASU Polytechnic and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.