Everything the FAA Wants you to know


New Member
Good find. This caught my eye...

FAA Document said:
Between 2000 and 2003, we experienced a 9 percent drop in air traffic volume, but saw a 4 percent increase in air traffic controller headcount, as shown in the table below. The contractual commitment to minimum staffing levels required us to increase staffing even as the number of FAA-handled operations plummeted. As a result, we were unable to address the dramatic fall off in traffic following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. While the agency continued to hire, our customers in the aviation industry were laying off tens of thousands of employees and drastically scaling back operations.

A perfect example of this occurred at St. Louis Airport, a former hub airport for Trans World Airlines. After TWA went bankrupt, traffic dropped off dramatically, reducing total controller workload in the area. The FAA, however, was contractually bound to a negotiated number of controllers at the facility and hence had too many controllers and not enough work. At the same time, Independence Air traffi c was dramatically increasing at Dulles Airport, but we couldn’t realign staffi ng to handle that increase – again because of the negotiated staffing agreements.

The inflexibility of negotiated staffing at the national and at the facility level was clearly a problem as the FAA tried to provide service to a changing aviation industry. As the agency saw controller productivity fall, we determined to run the NAS more efficiently.

Our new contract provides the flexibility. Under the 2006 controller contract, the FAA is able to staff according to workload and traffic, so the divergence in staffing levels and traffic is unlikely to happen again. The FAA is now staffing our facilities based on traffic with workload driven by the number of positions that need to be staffed due to actual and forecasted traffic demands.
So will the FAA reassign controllers to different facilities based on need? Or will they just send out pink slips if the airline industry hits a rough spot?