National Air Traffic Controllers Association

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) is a labor union in the United States. It is affiliated with the AFL-CIO, and is the exclusive bargaining representative for air traffic controllers employed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It also represents a range of workers related to the air traffic control (ATC) industry, and the FAA itself.

NATCA was formed in 1987, following the decertification of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), the organization involved in the well known 1981 air traffic controllers' strike. NATCA promised to never condone an illegal strike but does actively pressure Congress and the FAA to hire more controllers and to accelerate the installation of advanced air traffic control systems.

Internationally, the NATCA is affiliated with the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations (IFATCA).

NATCA was involved in contentious negotiations with the FAA in 2005-6 under the Bush administration. When the parties could not reach an agreement on a new contract, the FAA chose to follow the process enacted by Congress and unilaterally implemented new terms and conditions of employment. NATCA filed Unfair Labor Practice charges asserting that the FAA negotiated in bad faith. The General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), a political appointee, used her prosecutorial discretion to dismiss all charges filed by NATCA. The United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, affirmed her discretion to dismiss the charges.

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