H.R. 5038

Published: Dec 9, 1981. Publicly Released: Dec 9, 1981.

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Comments were presented on H.R. 5038. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this bill was proposed to assist in the efforts to rebuild the air traffic control system. Parts of the bill are also intended to fulfill a commitment FAA says it made to working controllers who have kept the air traffic control system operating. The bill, if enacted, would establish special pay differentials and incentives for certain FAA employees and exempt them from certain limitations on premium pay. The bill would also establish special recruitment incentives to attract military and civil service retirees and permit FAA to pay for training in excess of 40 hours a week. In the past, GAO has not supported special pay and retirement legislation for air traffic controllers because it was not properly justified under Federal compensation standards and provided preferential treatment that other Federal employees do not receive. This bill singles out air traffic controllers and associated FAA personnel for special treatment and could be considered to be inequitable by other Federal employees who are not receiving similar treatment. GAO has concerns over many of the bill's provisions, but also recognizes that FAA may need some special measures to rebuild the air traffic control system. Therefore, GAO believes that the overall merits of this bill are a policy matter for Congress and FAA to decide.