WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined Senators Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the Continuity for Operators with Necessary Training Required for ATC Contract Towers (CONTRACT) Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation to remove the disincentive for retired Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic controllers to work at federal contract towers.
“Air traffic controllers keep airports running and air traffic safe, but a federal mandate discourages more experienced controllers from working at federal contract towers, creating a potential workforce shortage at air traffic facilities,” said Senator Cramer. “Our legislation ensures these facilities have sufficient staffing to continue operating without interruption.”
FAA air traffic controllers are one of several federal employee groups whose retirement is mandated at 56 years of age, and retired FAA controllers are penalized for continuing to work as controllers at federal contract towers. The CONTRACT Act would eliminate this penalty, allowing experienced FAA employees the opportunity to use their skills at a federal contract tower without facing financial disincentives.
Senators Cramer, Inhofe, and Murray are joined on the bill by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennett (D-CO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Boozman (R-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelly Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (D-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Tim Kaine (D-VA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), James Risch (R-ID), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) Marco Rubio (R-FL), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Thune (R-SD), Tom Thillis (R-NC), Chirs Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Representatives Julia Brownley (D-CA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) reintroduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.