What: The Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) 25th Strike Anniversary
When: Convention/Reunion, August 2-3, 2006
Where: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Florida
THE REGAN ADMINISTRATION ORDER:
“RETURN TO WORK OR YOU’RE FIRED!”
Spend Time with Current and Former PATCO Controllers As They Relive the Strike, Share Their Personal Stories, and Talk About the Current State of the Industry
Hollywood, Florida – July 26, 2006 – They were labeled criminals, traitors, oath breakers and lawbreakers, but that was the Federal Government’s spin to distract the public from the real issue of what was happening behind the scenes with the professionals who worked in what was ranked at the time as the most stressful career in the world – Air Traffic Control. The Government’s intent was never to seriously negotiate, let alone resolve, the working conditions of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), but to get rid of them.
When the FAA and PATCO entered into contract negotiations in the early 1980’s, PATCO was seeking safer working conditions, including a 32-hour work week, updated computer equipment and retirement after 20 years of service. U.S. controllers were the only ones in the world forced to work 40-hour weeks consisting of eight-hour shifts without breaks, with up to 20 hours of mandatory overtime added on each week. Because of this, some 89 percent left before retirement age, including 40 percent leaving to collect disability retirement. The Federal Government got a lot of mileage out of attacking PATCO’s demand for a $10,000 wage increase; however, the salary for a starting controller was just $15,000 a year, often taking seven years and just the right transfer opportunities for a professional to get to $29,000 a year.
As a result of the fruitless efforts to try and improve the working conditions for Air Traffic Controllers and the service they delivered, twenty five years ago, on August 3, 1981, after several months of extensive, yet fruitless contract negotiations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), PATCO was forced to call a nationwide strike.
Prior to his election, President Regan wrote a letter to PATCO’s President, Robert Poli, stating, “You can rest assured that if I am elected President, I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety.... I pledge to you that my administration will work very closely with you to bring about a spirit of cooperation between the President and the air traffic controllers.”
Later, President Reagan’s response to the strikers would be much different. Essentially, “Return to work or you’re fired!” was his message to organized labor, which has echoed since then for more than a quarter of a century. He ordered the arrests and jailing of hundreds of controllers, fired 11,541 highly skilled professionals and banned them for life from ever returning to their profession, leaving approximately 3,400 controllers to man the safety of the United States’ air traffic. This resulted in extreme financial damage to the airline industry: Approximately $30 million per day for the larger airline carriers, according to The Eighties Club. Financial damage also occurred within industries that relied on air transportation to conduct business and move goods. In the few months that followed the strike, the Government’s final kill was to decertify and destroy the PATCO union. By 1984, air traffic had increased by six percent while there were still 20 percent fewer controllers than had been on the job prior to the strike*.
On August 12, 1993, President Clinton lifted the ban on the rehiring of the PATCO strikers, but the FAA has, to a significant degree, ignored this order. To date, only 846 PATCO controllers have been allowed to return to their profession. The FAA continues with their illegal lock-out and discriminating policies against PATCO controllers.
Today, PATCO is once again a union affiliated with The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) and the AFL-CIO. PATCO continues to seek justice for the strikers in courts of law, organize air traffic controllers in the private sector, and improve working conditions for all Air Traffic Control professionals. The FAA, has failed to learn from the strike and still maintains its hard line approach in dealing with its workforce. The FAA’s recent self-imposed forced contract on the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and its members clearly reflects an anti-union attitude, foretelling that turbulent times may lie ahead.
Please join us August 2-3, 2006 at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel in Hollywood, Florida where hundreds of current and former PATCO controllers will mark the 25th anniversary of the 1981 PATCO strike. We have some amazing stories to share with you.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne has announced "testing of its hypersonic Ground Demonstrator Engine No. 2 (GDE-2) at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. This is the first time that a closed-loop hydrocarbon-fueled scramjet propulsion system has been successfully tested at hypersonic conditions."
This engine is slated to power the Boeing X-51A which is launched from a
B-52, and accelerated to Mach 4.5 by rocket motor, after which the scramjet
takes it to Mach 6 or 7.
Flight testing is scheduled for 2008.
Pratt & Whitney hypersonics page
Boeing X-51 page from Designation-Systems.Net
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've plugged the Aero-News.net podcasts many times in this blog and on the website (http://www.thirtythousandfeet.com/). They are daily, around 20 minutes, well done, and perfect for the morning commute.
I really only have 2 complaints:
- The sound levels management is not even. This presents a problem in high noise environments (like the car) and I have to adjust the volume constantly when going from announcer to interviewee to advert.
- Their website is not friendly to all browsers. IE is great (meaning it works for www.aero-news.net, not that it's an inherently great browser) but other browsers can be problematic. I have a whole rant about how your company will spend less money in the long run if you code to standards, rather than coding to IE, but I'll leave that for another time.
Also, they "felt that there was a solid market and audience for an 'always-on' programming venue... one that tuned the average PC into an extension of ANN's vast information services."
They recommend you download and install their own audio player (yuk, I hate proprietary solutions), but you can use your own RealPlayer, Winamp, Sonique, MusicMatch, or Windows Media Player.
Learn more here.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
A couple of interesting UAVs from the Farnborough Air Show:
From Lockheed Martin Skunk Works we have the Polecat, a high-altitude vehicle with low observable properties. This thing was done in just 18 months, demonstrating their rapid development capability.
From Aurora Flight Sciences there is a full-scale mock-up of a hydrogen-fuelled long-endurance unmanned UAV, developing with Boeing's Phantom Works. It's called the Orion HALL (High Altitude, Long Loiter).
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
There is an interesting story over at CIO Insight, the business and technology strategy journal published by Ziff Davis. Case Study: Continental Airline's Tech Strategy Takes Off examines the state of affairs in the airline industry and describes how Continental is managing to stay ahead of the pack.
We all know what has become of air travel since September 11: lines for check-in, lines for security, grumpy passengers and airline personnel, soaring fuel prices and plummeting flight services. Don't forget the bankruptcies and billions of dollars of losses. It's a really ugly sight.
Continental is on a path to "identify and increase the loyalty of Continental's most valuable customers while luring new, more profitable customers -many of whom do not live in the U.S. - into the fold with top-notch customer service."
The Case Study, in part, looks at the Continental transformation from an IT standpoint. The mainframe is out and a consolidated CRM system is in. So is a "a cross-enterprise data warehouse."
Be sure to also read the sidebar on Continental's plans to offer wireless on flights: Innovation: Continental's Wireless Plan on the Wing.
The RTI International piece, Successful 'Paint-On' Antenna Test Flight Paves Way for Next-Generation High-Altitude Airships describes how "paint on" antennas are being tested for use on high-altitude communications and surveillance platforms.
- hurricane disaster relief
- port and border security
- science observation missions
- military communications
- surveillance of battlefields
Saturday, July 15, 2006
From a recently received press release:
Air Traffic Growth and Air Transport Liberalisation Efforts Drive Demand for MRO Services in Africa
London, UK – 12th July, 2006 - The African maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) markets are set to grow rapidly over the next six years, as a result of ongoing liberalisation efforts in many countries and the subsequent emergence of new airlines aimed at meeting latent demand. The ability of regional and international MROs to cater for the anticipated MRO demand levels will depend on the presence of a valued portfolio of services and a deeper understanding of the unique needs and requirements of African airlines.
Frost & Sullivan finds that the African Airframe and Engine MRO Markets earned revenues of $1.44 billion in 2005 and estimates this to reach $2.05 billion in 2012.
“Attractive air traffic growth rates and the expected domestic and regional air transport liberalisation initiatives will drive growth in the African MRO market”, notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Diogenis Papiomytis. “Although African MRO suppliers cannot yet compete against their international rivals, their installed base is sufficient to allow them to effectively commercialise their business over time to meet the requirements of African airlines.”
Air traffic growth will be primarily driven by a liberalised air transport industry, keen to offer opportunities to new market entrants willing to take advantage of latent demand. The largest African markets, such as Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria have already implemented domestic liberalisation packages, allowing free competition amongst airlines. Such trends are, in turn, set to influence aircraft utilisation rates, as well as the number of new aircraft deliveries, and subsequently the level of demand for MRO services.
However, the economic limitations experienced by the majority of African carriers, due to poor management and an unfavourable economic and political climate, have negatively affected the profitability and competitiveness of African MRO suppliers. The airlines’ limited financial capacity has resulted in frequent ‘aircraft on ground’ situations, missed payments for maintenance work and a general unwillingness to adopt sophisticated maintenance commercial models, such as power-by-the-hour (PBTH) and equalised maintenance.
“In a market dominated by small- and medium-sized carriers, with limited financial capacity to budget for maintenance models that require upfront payments, it is important to retain those commercial models that provide value to the customer”, explains Mr. Papiomytis. “Time-and-material (TAM) ad hoc models are still a popular option amongst African airlines and the provision of these, along with a portfolio of services reflecting the fleet composition of African fleets, will determine the success of an MRO supplier competing in this market”.
Adopting a commercialised business model and responding to customer needs will be critical to succeed in Africa. The African MRO market volume is rapidly increasing, providing substantial opportunities to customer-oriented suppliers that are willing to invest in finding innovate ways to cater to the unsophisticated and inefficient maintenance practices of African carriers.
If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants with an overview of the latest analysis of the African Airframe and Engine MRO Markets, then send an e-mail to Srividhya Parthasarathy- Corporate Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: your full name, company name, title, telephone number, e-mail address, city, state, and country. We will send you the information via email upon receipt of the above information.
With more shippers, logistics providers, and cargo transport companies basing their Middle East (and North Africa, CIS countries) operations in the UAE, the 1st Annual Middle East Logistics Awards (MELA) 2006 was created to recognize excellence in logistics.
The gala event will be held Tuesday, 21st November 2006 at Mina A' Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai - United Arab Emirates.
Organizer: Eventis F.Z.C.
Address: P.O. Box: 72247, Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 2654811
Fax: +971 4 2976988
Mobile: +971 50 2828534
Contact Person: Mr. Glen Taylor
Designation: Manager, Marketing & PR
You'll find resources of interest to the Aircargo industry at Thirty Thousand Feet.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
That's it. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has gotten it's name: Lightning II. This comes from the World War II fighter plane, the P-38 Lightning, which was also built by Lockheed.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company unveiled the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Fort Worth, Texas where the plane is being built.
WFAA has a short video clip of the rollout ceremony, as well as an accompanying article, Lockheed in Fort Worth Unveils F-35 JSF.
You can access the long version of the video at TeamJSF. (Click "Public access.") You'll also find the Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney press releases and other information.
Friday, July 07, 2006
International Flightsim Conventions conducts large flight simulation conventions and exhibitions around the world, giving you the opportunity to see and buy the latest FS software, hardware, cockpits, publications, and more.
The Denver convention was held July 1-2, 2006, and a 13 meg .pdf file is available that contains a great collection of photos from Denver. If you attended, maybe you'll see yourself. If you are thinking about attending one of these in the future, the photos give you a good feel for what to expect.
The Europe Convention is December 2-3, 2006 at the National Exhibition Centre N.E.C Birmingham, United Kingdom.
Australia is in 2007.