Text: H.Res.1401 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)

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Engrossed in House (07/27/2010)

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[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 1401 Engrossed in House (EH)]

H. Res. 1401

                In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

                                                         July 27, 2010.
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 
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 
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, 
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 Culpepper, 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
    Resolved, 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 
            (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.