Airport Receives $1.6 Million; Controllers Get The Tight
While folks in
Meridian, MS were giddy about getting a $1.6 million grant from FAA
Administrator Marion Blakey (right) for their local airport, the
administrator had many things on her mind during her June 1 visit
"I came to Mississippi to see how aviation is growing in
Meridian, Tupelo and at the Golden Triangle airports," Blakey said.
"But our main concern tonight is to announce the grant to be given
to Meridian to help fix drainage, wildlife assessment and
electronic security systems," according to a Meridian Star
The AIP funds will also cover rehabilitation for general
aviation needs, airport guidance signs, fire fighters communication
equipment, electronic gate security, and emergency generators that
will sustain security systems in the event of an extended power
Blakey, who supervises 48,000 employees and oversees a $14
billion yearly budget, also commented about the impending deadline
by Congress over air traffic controller negotiation that stalled
and fell apart in April.
Blakey said there have not been any recent developments in the
controversy over a new compensation plan for air traffic
As Aero-News reported,
negotiations came to a standstill when Blakey failed to return to
the table when the National Air Traffic Controllers Association
offered a $1.4 billion reduction in labor and pensions. Blakey and
the FAA were seeking a $1.9 reduction.
Contract negotiations between the FAA and National Air Traffic
Controllers Association began in July 2005. In March 2006, the
Federal Mediation Conciliation Service was called in to mediate the
negotiations, which were declared to be at an impasse by FAA
By law, all impasse proposals for FAA and unions to negotiate
pay are sent to Congress. Within 60 days the FAA has the authority
to implement its proposal unless Congress acts otherwise.
That Congressional review period ends
Monday -- "and some members of Congress say go back to
the table, but I do not see any point in that," Blakey said.