ATC shortage

sigmanu499

New Member
I was just reading an article at www.natca.org and I found that some ATC centers such as ABQ, are required to work six day weeks because they dont have the staffing they should. And yet the feds just wont fund hiring of lots of new controllers. It also said some places already have plans to open new sectors but cant because of staffing, and they cant take the time to train controllers on the new technology. I find this trubleing. They do a great job most of the time, but I had no idea it was that bad.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
At least from the pilot's perspective, we'll try to check in on a new frequency and won't get an answer for a few minutes, then we'll try again and the controller says, "EVERYONE HOLD ON, I'm working two (three?) frequencies and everyone's stepping all over everyone"

It's even worse when one controller is working clearance, ground and tower control at some airports because you never know when to make a radio transmission.

Personally, the system's a mess already and if it gets an iota worse, we're looking at a major accident in our future.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
It's even worse when one controller is working clearance, ground and tower control at some airports because you never know when to make a radio transmission.

.

[/ QUOTE ]

That's the story of my life being on UHF versus VHF.

Maybe Reagan can help with the shortage of controllers.........
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Pretty telling why the only enitity that calls DCA; "Reagan National" are the people at Jeppsen!
 

TheWife

New Member
Not to get way off track here, but has anyone seen Pushing Tin with Billy Bob? I have always wondered how realistic that was, if that's what an ATC goes through.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Yeah, there's all sorts of irony in certain members of Congress, who spent a lot of time talking about how local governments should be able to operate without interference from the federal government, ramming the Reagan part down the throats of the folks who live in the DC area. We liked the Washington National Airport name just fine, and we still use it.

Plus, no matter what you think of Reagan, I think it's ridiculous to put his name in front of Washington National. It slights one of our founding fathers.

And there's the irony of naming a huge federal office building after him as well, seeing how he wanted to reduce the size of the government.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
My uncle, well, my uncle by marriage was a big wig at Miami Center before he hit mandatory age-56 retirement and he was an extremely mellow guy who collected Star Wars figurines (dolls to the rest of us) and didn't talk a whole lot.

I seriously doubt if controllers are that eclectic and I seriously doubt if they fight over women and go stand on the runway (?!) looking for 747 wake turbulence.
 

TheWife

New Member
I didn't mean those parts! Lol. I meant more like how intense it was, like if he was off by a second then planes would crash. Are they really that close together? Is it really down to such a science like that, no room for error? It was long ago that we watched it, so I don't remember much of it. But I remember thinking that it would be MAJOR freaking stress if the planes relaly come in like that!
 

Tennant

New Member
I have a cousin that is a supervisor at Memphis Center. He is a really nice guy, real down to earth and funny. Not a psychopath
like Billy-Bob’s character.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Billy Bob: "I got a sling blade, MMM HMMM"

Well, if a controller is down to +/- one second on a command, the planes are going to hit. Because it takes a few seconds to hear a command, understand it, act upon it and have the aircraft respond to control inputs. If it gets that close, it's a loss of situation awareness between the controllers AND the pilots because I'm the first one bitching if ATC vectors me in too close to traffic.

I've got a wife, two cats and a mortgage that's more important than the US government's concept of "operational efficiency".
 

aloft

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
And yet the feds just wont fund hiring of lots of new controllers.

[/ QUOTE ]Dubya's way too busy trying to find ways to privatize ATC.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I dunno, use the patriot act to silence me but I think privatization of the ATC system is the death knell for general aviaton.

It's already almost $100/hr for a stinkin' 172, I wonder what it'd be after airspace fees.

Back in the day it was $50 for a 172Q, $85 for a 182RG and "eek" $120/hr for a PA-44.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I used to work at LA TRACON before it was SoCal approach. The job can be stressful at times but no more so than shooting an ILS to minimums in a busy terminal enviornment. Other times, it could be pretty laid back.

One thing...those controllers like to party...worse than pilots. They were always wanting to go to the Wild Goose after work (a strip club by LAX). Now...I think pilots like to party and all but controllers have us beat.

Long story....but the best aviation career move I ever made was to leave ATC and get back into piloting in the mid-80's.
 

aloft

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
...the best aviation career move I ever made was to leave ATC and get back into piloting in the mid-80's.

[/ QUOTE ]I'm sure your liver thanks you, Don.
 

ponts

Well-Known Member
One thing...those controllers like to party...worse than pilots. They were always wanting to go to the Wild Goose after work (a strip club by LAX). Now...I think pilots like to party and all but controllers have us beat.
True story, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the NATCA folks at the SOS bar during Oshkosh. They know how to have a good time!!!
 
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