Congressman Steve Russell’s attempt to provide for an annuity supplement for certain Air Traffic Controller Instructors such as those at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical center in Oklahoma City, has won support in the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
It was a unanimous vote for the bill, H.R. 5785, that prevents full-time air traffic control instructors, under contract with the Federal Aviation Administration from being forced into early retirement because of what Rep. Russell calls “burdensome” annuity laws.
“Our air traffic controllers have proven themselves to be exceptional at what they do; we should be incentivizing them to work more, not less,” said Russell after the support came in the committee. “Losing them at a relatively young age, when they can serve vital roles as instructors, simply makes no sense. This corrects that and makes the airways safer world-wide. It also saves a lot of wasted effort on needless contracts.”
The committee vote drew immediate applause from Nazzic Keene, President at Science Applications International Corp., the that won a $727 million contract last year to provide air traffic controller training to the FAA.
“This important legislation waives the retirement income limit for retired FAA air traffic controllers continuing to serve our nation as full time air traffic control instructors. The action is an important step toward final passage and ensures the safety of air passengers nationwide,” said Keene.
The bill now heads to the House floor to be considered by the full committee of the House.
Listen to Jerry Bohnen’s interview of the Congressman.