Saturday, October 8, 2011

An Unheeded Warning from 1969

Reader William Daugherty, a former air traffic controller, and a charter member of PATCO wrote to me to explain that the book brought back many memories.  One was of a 35-page report he himself had written in 1969 analyzing the growing conflict between the FAA and controllers and warning of its  consequences.  The paper was titled: "Air Traffic Controllers vs. the Federal Aviation Administration: Underlying Causes of Low Morale." He wrote it in the aftermath of the abortive sickout that controllers in a handful of FAA facilities launched in June 1969 in protest of the FAA's failure to honor promises made to PATCO during the previous summer.  That sickout, as I point out in my book, marked a sharp deterioration in labor relations at the FAA and led to a much larger job action in 1970.  In his report, Daugherty asks why the situation at the FAA  "has become intolerable to a dedicated group of air traffic controllers that historically have shown that they can operate a complex aviation system under adverse conditions?"  Unfortunately, Daugherty's warning went unheeded.  To read this interesting document in full, click here.

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