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 seven years. With more than one-quarter 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.
NATCA supports air traffic control reform and believes we must have stable, predictable funding for the National Airspace System (NAS). The FAA Reauthorization bill contains necessary reforms that we believe will help us maintain the safest, most efficient airspace in the world while we move forward with innovative modernization projects, while protecting the workforce.
The current aviation system has served us well until recent years. Unfortunately, we no longer have a stable or predictable funding stream and this uncertainty has caused many serious problems for the system. Without change, we face continued funding uncertainty.
"All stakeholders in the NAS must work together to ensure that the United States remains the world leader in aviation," said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, pictured above.
On TODAY’s series Up for the Job TODAY, all of our TODAY anchors are interning at different jobs. Matt Lauer can keep a cool head under pressure, so he wanted to see if he could pull off interning a...
Watch this news story about the work of Dave Kilgus, NATCA member and air traffic controller at Columbus ATCT, who helped a pilot in distress in March 2015. Kilgus received the 2016 Great Lakes Region...