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Aviation Safety: Opportunities Exist for FAA to Refine the Controller Staffing Process
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Filetype[PDF-406.76 KB]

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  • NTL Classification:
    NTL-AVIATION-Air Traffic Control ; NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness ; NTL-SAFETY AND SECURITY-Human Factors
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  • Abstract:
    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for managing the

    nation's air transportation system so more than 18,000 aircraft can annually

    carry 500 million passengers safely and on schedule. Because of significant

    hiring in the early 1980s to replace strikers who had been fired, many of FAA's

    more than 17,000 air traffic controllers may become eligible to retire within

    the next decade, raising concerns that FAA could be left with too few fully

    trained controllers. Congress asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to

    (1) identify the key variables FAA uses to project future controller staffing

    needs and evaluate their reasonableness; (2) determine whether the agency has

    identified a sufficient number of controller candidates to satisfy its short-

    and long-term staffing needs and evaluate FAA's plans to train new controllers;

    and (3) identify impediments that hinder FAA from staffing air traffic control

    (ATC) facilities at specified levels. This report discusses the GAO findings

    and recommendations. 67p.

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