Transportation union: Romney would ‘permanently delay’ US aviation system

{mosads}“And that is just the beginning,” he continued. “Do you want
to elect a president who was the director and shareholder of an airline that
blatantly violated the rights of pilots to organize a union? Because that is
what Romney did with Key Airlines before he and his partners at Bain Capital
quickly sold it for an $18 million profit…. Or how about his running mate, Rep.
Paul Ryan, who has voted against collective bargaining rights for FAA workers
and wants to privatize our air traffic control system. This is a
politician who actually voted to allow foreign companies, like those in China,
to own and control U.S. airlines.”

The navigation system Wytkind was discussing has been long planned
by the FAA to switch the air traffic control system from radar technology
that has been used since World War II to a satellite-based system.

The switch is expected to cost the FAA about $22 billion through
2025. Plans have called for the NextGen system to be in place at the busiest
airports by 2014, and nationwide by 2020.

Airlines have said they would have to spend about an additional $20
billion to upgrade their airplanes’ computer systems.

Republicans in the House have called for the FAA to consolidate
some of its existing air traffic control towers and looking to partner with
private sector companies to bring down the costs of the program.

Wytkind said the GOP approach presented aviation industry
employees and supporters with “a choice between an incumbent president who will
fund the national airspace system and defend collective bargaining rights,
or his opponent, who has promised to do the opposite.”

Aviation security — along with many other transportation issues — was not discussed during the first debate between Obama and Romney on Wednesday night.

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