Air traffic controller staffing has been a concern for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association for many years, but it has now reached a crisis level. We’ve said it repeatedly over the past few years: the status quo is unacceptable.
Controller staffing has fallen nearly 10 percent since 2011, and the FAA has missed its hiring goals in each of the last five years. With one third of our workforce eligible to retire, the FAA’s bureaucratic structure is failing. In fiscal year 2015, the FAA fell 24 percent below its staffing goals. If this situation continues unaddressed, we will be hard-pressed to maintain current capacity, let alone expand and modernize the system.
Before Congress and at aviation panels and events, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert have consistently shared the following message regarding air traffic control modernization and reform: the lack of stable or predictable funding for the National Airspace System (NAS) is unacceptable and major change is needed in order to maintain and advance the system's safety and efficiency.
In his testimony, Rinaldi detailed the challenges confronting the system and the work underway to improve its already outstanding performance. As lawmakers turn their focus to the FAA Reauthorization process, they must consider changes that will enhance the safety and efficiency of the world's most complex airspace.
Read Rinaldi's column in the latest monthly e-brief from the Eno Center for Transportation.
How air traffic controllers and FAA employees - who became the contingency plan for the system - ensured safety and helped the airspace recover and increase efficiency with expert skill and profession...
Just another day in the extraordinary lives of our FAA Air Traffic Controllers. Safety in the FAA requires the dedication of everyone, everywhere, everyday.
Data Comm allows air traffic controllers to transmit critical route information to pilots via digital text, replacing old two-way radio transmissions. This new NextGen technology will speed up departu...