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Maloney Announces His Bill to Hire More Veterans Signed into Law

Sep 12, 2016
Press Release
Legislation Prioritizes Hiring of Veteran Air Traffic Controllers

Newburgh, NY – After touring the air traffic control tower at Dutchess County Airport, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney joined County Executive Marcus Molinaro, Director of Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services Nelson Eddy Rivera, and representatives from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) to announce passage of Rep. Maloney’s legislation to improve hiring and staffing of air traffic controllers and facilitate the hiring of more veteran controllers. America is on the precipice of an air traffic control crisis, as older controllers retire faster than new controllers can be hired and trained. This legislation prioritizes hiring veterans by placing them in a separate hiring pool from the general public and requires the FAA to select veterans for vacancies without subjecting them to FAA’s biographical assessment.

“Millions of New Yorkers rely on our airports for safe, efficient and convenient travel every year – helping to grow our economy and create jobs,” said Rep. Maloney, member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “As the son of a Navy veteran I also believe it is our duty to ensure those who have served our country can find employment when they come home. My legislation will make sure our airports are adequately staffed and give our veterans the chance to find meaningful, good paying jobs after their service - keeping our runways and skies safe for all travelers."

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “We are grateful to Congressman Maloney for his continued support of our efforts to improve and expand operations at the Dutchess County Airport. This bill not only adds to the critical investments we’ve made at the airport to enhance services and attract new businesses, but it addresses a growing concern regarding the hiring of our nation’s veterans. The brave men and women in our military deserve to have a job to come home to after selflessly serving our country and the measures outlined in this bill will ensure their hiring is a top priority.”

“Congressman Maloney’s bill, which was passed in July as part of the extension to FAA reauthorization, is a big step forward. It allows the FAA to streamline the hiring process by allowing experienced controllers to be hired quickly. Myself and all of us at NATCA want to thank the Congressman for all his efforts in creating this bill and making it happen. He is a true champion and a friend to air traffic controllers,” said Jose Freitas, National Air Traffic Controller Association (NATCA).

Introduced in May, the Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act will improve the hiring and staffing of air traffic controllers at the FAA. The Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act clears out redundant bureaucratic hurdles to speed the hiring of more controllers as opposed to slowing it down. It also prioritizes hiring veterans and Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) graduates by placing them in a separate hiring pool from the general public and requires the  FAA to select veterans for vacancies without subjecting them to FAA’s biographical assessment. It also recommends that the FAA recruit experienced controllers, including military and Department of Defense civilian controllers, Federal Contract Tower controllers, and those with prior FAA experience. Rep. Maloney’s legislation was included in H.R. 636, the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016, which was signed into law by President Obama.

Rep. Maloney has a track record of getting things done for Hudson Valley veterans, despite Washington gridlock. In 2013, Rep. Maloney’s Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act was signed into law, which helped to address the Veterans Administration (VA) backlog of disability claims. In December 2015, Rep. Maloney’s Wounded Warrior Employment Improvement Act was signed into law to reform the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program, the key employment program to help assist, train and find jobs for veterans who have compensable service-connected disabilities. In July, two of Rep. Maloney’s legislative proposals were included in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 - ensuring disabled veterans receive specialized treatment and loan forgiveness. The Disabled Veterans Student Loan Protection Act will ensure greater cooperation between the Department of Education, VA, and Department of Defense by establishing a system for transferring relevant information for veterans with 100-percent service-connected disabilities who have outstanding loans; the Appropriate Care for Disabled Veterans Act extends a mandate for the VA to report on its capacity for rehabilitating disabled veterans.