ABC News
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    The Federal Aviation Administration's Air Traffic Organization sent approximately 3,600 air traffic control managers and supervisors to Atlanta, Georgia over a period of three weeks this month, at a cost of $5 million dollars.
    ABC News
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    The conference, which the FAA said was to go over a new contract with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association that went into effect Oct. 1, was held at the 4-diamond Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta.
    ABC News
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    Approximately 1,200 managers and supervisors arrived each week by coach bus from the airport.
    ABC News
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    As part of the hospitality for the FAA, the Omni Hotel threw a large cocktail party for the air traffic control managers.
    ABC News
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    ABC News
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    Here, FAA conference attendees socialize while on afternoon break among the Omni Hotel's holiday décor.
    ABC News
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    An FAA whistleblower told ABC News that the Atlanta meetings were "extravagant" and that "one would think a PowerPoint or even a videoconference would suffice." "This waste of money is just inexcusable," the whistleblower said.
    ABC News
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    The FAA told ABC News that "given the complexity of the contract and the need for managers to fully understand it, the training had to be done face-to-face not through a memo or webcast."
    ABC News
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    At night, the FAA managers made the rounds of Atlanta bars, drinking and dancing.
    ABC News
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    The hotel's lobby bar was packed each night of the conference with loud conference attendees.
    ABC News
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    Tom Schatz of the nonprofit group Citizens Against Government Waste said taxpayers should be outraged. "Anyone who is flying, whose flight has been delayed or canceled, could find a lot better usage for five million dollars for the FAA," said Schatz.
    ABC News
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