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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-543
======================================================================
 
    EXPRESSING GRATITUDE FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT THE AIR TRAFFIC 
CONTROLLERS OF THE UNITED STATES MAKE TO KEEP THE TRAVELING PUBLIC SAFE 
  AND THE AIRSPACE OF THE UNITED STATES RUNNING EFFICIENTLY, AND FOR 
                             OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

   July 15, 2010.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Oberstar, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following


                              R E P O R T

                      [To accompany H. Res. 1401]

  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the resolution (H. Res. 1401) expressing gratitude 
for the contributions that the air traffic controllers of the 
United States make to keep the traveling public safe and the 
airspace of the United States running efficiently, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with amendments and recommend that the resolution as 
amended be agreed to.
  The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the resolving clause and insert the 
following:

That the House of Representatives--
          (1) expresses gratitude for the contributions that the air 
        traffic controllers of the United States make to keep the 
        traveling public safe and the airspace of the United States 
        running efficiently;
          (2) commends air traffic controllers for the calm and 
        professional manner in which they handle air traffic, day and 
        night, throughout the year;
          (3) acknowledges the heroic actions, dedication, and quick 
        and skilled decisionmaking that air traffic controllers employ 
        to help avert many accidents and tragedies; and
          (4) encourages greater investment in the modernization of the 
        air traffic control system of the United States so that air 
        traffic controllers have the resources and technology needed to 
        better carry out their mission, both in the air and on the 
        ground, as air travel continues to grow.

  Amend the preamble to read as follows:

Whereas air traffic controllers dedicate themselves to the protection of 
the flying public;

Whereas air traffic controllers react to dangerous and complex situations 
on a daily basis, doing so in a calm and professional manner;

Whereas air traffic controllers work all day long and all year long, 
including holidays, to provide services to aircraft in their assigned 
airspaces;

Whereas, due to the highly stressful and demanding nature of the job and 
the total concentration required, air traffic controllers are required to 
take regular 30-minute breaks, work in shifts, and retire by the age of 56;

Whereas air traffic controllers perform courageous acts every day;

Whereas, on January 1, 2009, air traffic controller Kristin Danninger at 
the Madison, Wisconsin, Tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control 
(``TRACON'') facility directed a new pilot back on course and above minimum 
altitude who had been stuck in the clouds in a small aircraft with zero 
visibility, successfully using her knowledge of local geography to point 
out a highway that led the pilot to the appropriate runway;

Whereas, on March 29, 2009, air traffic controller Troy Decker at the Salt 
Lake Center facility guided a Piper Aztec aircraft with an engine fire to a 
safe landing in Butte, Montana, providing detailed weather reports for 
several possible landing options;

Whereas, on April 12, 2009, air traffic controllers Jessica Anaya, Lisa 
Grimm, Nathan Henkels, Dan Favio, Brian Norton, and Carey Meadows at the 
Miami Center facility and the Fort Myers Tower and TRACON facility guided 
to safety a twin-engine King Air aircraft after the pilot died in-flight, 
assisting Doug White, an individual with limited private pilot experience 
in smaller aircraft, to locate the positions of controls and switches on 
the aircraft and to navigate the high-traffic area of southern Florida;

Whereas, on June 28, 2009, air traffic controller Ron Chappell at the 
Southern California TRACON facility issued a traffic advisory to a jet 
aircraft landing at Los Angeles after viewing another target on his radar 
screen that was at an unknown altitude and approaching the jet, 
circumstances that bore a similarity to a 1986 mid-air collision over 
Cerritos, California;

Whereas, on July 5, 2009, air traffic controller Louis Ridley at the 
Potomac TRACON facility assisted a Velocity aircraft stuck above a cloud 
layer to navigate through perilous mountain terrain with limited fuel 
remaining and, while doing so, reassured the pilot, gave detailed flight 
and weather information, determined the best airport for a safe approach 
and landing, and even had his wife, Carolyn, greet the pilot after the 
pilot landed in Culpeper, Virginia;

Whereas, on October 9, 2009, air traffic controllers Kevin Plante and 
Christopher Presley in Portland, Maine, helped guide an aircraft that had 
become stuck in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions by employing, with 
daylight waning and the aircraft near mountainous terrain, a road map to 
direct the pilot to Portland using several highways, lakes, and towns as 
guides;

Whereas, on November 14, 2009, air traffic controller Jessica Hermsdorfer 
at the Kansas City Tower and TRACON facility calmly helped guide back to 
the airport an Airbus 319 aircraft that had hit multiple birds and 
experienced engine trouble, directing other aircraft out of the way and 
assisting the stricken flight to land safely;

Whereas, on December 7, 2009, air traffic controllers Natasha Hodge and 
Douglas Wynkoop at the Dallas TRACON facility worked as a team to assist a 
confused and disoriented pilot of an experimental aircraft, redirecting 
other aircraft in the area and suggesting an approach into Navy Fort Worth 
for the pilot, which resulted in a successful landing;

Whereas, on December 20, 2009, air traffic controllers Todd Lamb at the 
Anchorage Center facility and Michael Evans at the Fairbanks Flight Service 
Station ensured a safe landing for a Cessna aircraft that was experiencing 
smoke in the cockpit, as Mr. Evans was able to assist the pilot in locating 
a narrow dirt trail which was the only safe landing spot in the area and 
Mr. Lamb helped a second aircraft locate the downed plane's position;

Whereas approximately 15,600 Federal air traffic controllers, in airport 
traffic control towers, terminal radar approach control facilities, and air 
route traffic control centers, guide planes through the airspace of the 
United States;

Whereas approximately an additional 1,250 civilian contract controllers and 
more than 9,000 military controllers also provide air traffic services;

Whereas, from fiscal year 2001 to fiscal year 2009, according to the 
Federal Aviation Administration (``FAA'') there have been 94,600,000 
successful flights of United States commercial aircraft safely carrying 
more than 6,340,000,000 passengers;

Whereas air traffic controllers provide separation services over the entire 
airspace of the United States and 24,600,000 square miles of international 
oceanic airspace;

Whereas, as of May 22, 2010, the FAA operated 315 air traffic control 
facilities and the Air Traffic Control System Command Center in the United 
States;

Whereas, in the past 5 years, the FAA has hired more than 7,500 air traffic 
controllers in order to meet continuously changing traffic volumes and 
workload; and

Whereas air traffic controllers are facing staffing challenges, with an 
aging workforce and a wave of retirements: Now, therefore, be it

                       PURPOSE OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 1401, as amended, expresses gratitude for the 
contributions that the air traffic controllers of the United 
States make to keep the traveling public safe and the airspace 
of the United States running efficiently, and for other 
purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Air traffic controllers are responsible for ensuring the 
safety of approximately two million aviation passengers a day 
by providing separation services to aircraft operating in the 
national airspace system. Air traffic controllers react to 
highly complex and sometimes dangerous situations on a daily 
basis. Due to the highly stressful nature of the job, which 
requires total concentration, air traffic controllers must 
retire by age 56.
    There are currently more than 15,600 controllers at air 
traffic control facilities across the country and at the 
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic System 
Command Center in Herndon, Virginia.

                       SUMMARY OF THE LEGISLATION

    H. Res. 1401, as amended, expresses gratitude for the 
contributions that U.S. air traffic controllers make to keep 
the traveling public safe and the U.S. airspace running 
efficiently.
    H. Res. 1401 commends air traffic controllers for the calm 
and professional manner in which they ensure separation of air 
traffic. H. Res. 1401 also acknowledges air traffic 
controllers' heroic action, dedication, and quick and skillful 
decision-making, including nine separate incidents where 
controllers saved many lives. Furthermore, the resolution 
encourages greater investment in the modernization of the 
nation's air traffic control system to ensure that air traffic 
controllers have the resources and technology needed to better 
carry out their mission as air travel continues to grow.

            LEGISLATIVE HISTORY AND COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On May 26, 2010, Representative Carolyn McCarthy introduced 
H. Res. 1401. This resolution has not been introduced in a 
previous Congress. On July 1, 2010, the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure met in open session to 
consider H. Res. 1401. The Committee adopted an amendment to 
the bill by voice vote with a quorum present. The Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure ordered H. Res. 1401, as 
amended, reported favorably to the House by a voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                              RECORD VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires each committee report to include the 
total number of votes cast for and against on each record vote 
on a motion to report and on any amendment offered to the 
measure or matter, and the names of those members voting for 
and against. There were no recorded votes taken in connection 
with consideration of H. Res. 1401 or ordering the resolution 
reported. A motion to order H. Res. 1401, as amended, reported 
favorably to the House was agreed to by voice vote with a 
quorum present.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(1) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                          COST OF LEGISLATION

    With respect to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, H. Res. 1401, as amended, is a 
resolution of the House of Representatives, and therefore does 
not have the force of law. As such, there is no cost associated 
with this resolution for fiscal year 2010, or any fiscal year 
thereafter.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(2) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no comparison of the total estimated 
funding level for the relevant programs to the appropriate 
levels under current law is required.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no statement of general performance 
goals and objectives for any measure that authorizes funding is 
required.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee advises that the resolution contains no measure that 
authorizes funding, so no cost estimate nor comparison for any 
measure that authorizes funding is required.

                     COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XXI

    Pursuant to clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the House 
of Representatives, the Committee is required to include a list 
of congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits, as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of 
rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives. H. Res. 
1401, as amended, does not contain any earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits under clause 9(e), 9(f), 
or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    With respect to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, H. Res. 1401, as amended, is a 
resolution of the House of Representatives, and therefore does 
not have the force of law. As such, clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII 
does not apply.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    H. Res. 1401, as amended, contains no Federal mandates.

                        PREEMPTION CLARIFICATION

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H. Res. 1401, as 
amended, does not preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act are created by this 
legislation.

                APPLICABILITY TO THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the resolution does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1).

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H. Res. 1401, as amended, makes no changes in existing law.