Air traffic controllers union endorses Obama

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“The next few years are critical for our country, and our National Airspace System and this country needs the president’s continued leadership," he continued. "We are supportive of the steady progress being made by this administration to achieve our safety goals through a collaborative partnership, which we are pleased to report is not only resulting in successes but also becoming the way in which work is done in the FAA. This makes the system safer.”

The union credited Obama with restoring "fairness" to the Federal Aviation Administration, which officials said has "ended high attrition rates and stabilized the controller workforce."

"This allowed the FAA to begin the process of restoring safe staffing levels and effective training and placement processes," the union said.

NATCA and other aviation unions have pushed for a long-term funding bill for the FAA, but that has become sidetracked by a push by House Republicans to weaken labor rights for transportation workers. President Obama issued a veto threat over the provisions, which drew applause from aviation groups.

Rinaldi said Obama "understands" the aviation industry, which is why NATCA was endorsing him. 

"Our aviation system is the safest and most reliable in the world,” he said. “It is operated by dedicated, experienced professionals who understand that there is no room for error. The president understands this as well, and through his leadership, and the collaborative process his administration has created, we are on the right path to building the safe system of tomorrow while we ensure the safety of all flights today.”