The number of fully certified air traffic controllers, already at a 27-year low, fell again in the first three months of 2016. Among its recommendations, NATCA is calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to increase annual hiring totals, urges passage of bipartisan legislation, H.R. 5292, the Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act of 2016, and calls for stable, predictable funding for the FAA, including ensuring that the FAA is not subject to future sequester cuts.
Controller staffing levels have fallen nearly 10 percent since 2011, and the FAA has missed its hiring goals in each of the last seven years. In fact, in fiscal year 2015, the FAA fell 24 percent short of its hiring goal. More controllers are eligible to retire today, specifically one-quarter of the workforce, than are in the pipeline to replace them.
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...