Shifting S. California Airspace May Make Things Worse

The Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the operation, counters that the coming change is a simple consolidation that'll save millions of dollars and won't impact safety in the slightest.

Contrary to Vella's claims, the move won't require controllers to take on the six-day schedule, he said.

He also took issue with union complaints that the use of a simulator - rather than live, on-the-job training - to prepare controllers to handle the Palm Springs airspace poses safety concerns.

Simulators have been used successfully in the past and will adequately prepare workers for the new territory, Gregor said.

The idea that the FAA would knowingly ignore safety concerns doesn't make sense, he said.

"Our air traffic operation is absolutely safe now and it will continue to be absolutely safe as we do the financially responsible thing by consolidating," Gregor said.

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