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FAA Says It Exceeded Target For ATC Staffing In FY2007

Claims More Than 1,800 Controllers Hired

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Friday the agency exceeded its air traffic controller staffing targets for the fiscal year that ended on September 30, by hiring more than 1,800 controllers during the year. That tops the 2006 year-end total by 256 controllers; As a result, the agency now employs 14,874 controllers.

"We’re getting a lot of enthusiastic new recruits who are interested in becoming air traffic controllers," said Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell. "Controller hiring, training and staffing is a major priority and we are on track to meet future traffic needs."

The FAA will hire and train more than 15,000 controllers over the next decade to replace controllers who are expected to retire, those who are promoted, and those who leave for other reasons. The agency’s detailed controller workforce plan maps out projected retirement numbers through 2016 and target numbers for the end of each fiscal year.

FY2007 was the peak year for controllers who were hired in the early 1980s to become eligible for retirement for the first time. During the year, 828 controllers retired, and the agency expects retirements to continue to increase every year through 2012. The controller workforce plan calls for a steady increase in the total number of air traffic controllers through 2016 for a total of more than 16,000 controllers.

During fiscal year 2007, the FAA hired 1,815 new controllers. They included people with prior FAA or Department of Defense air traffic control experience, students who successfully completed a program of study as part of the FAA’s collegiate training initiative, and qualified applicants recruited through job announcements.

The FAA says a controller hired in 2007 will make an average of nearly $50,000 in cash compensation -- including base salary, locality and premiums -- by the end of their first year. By the end of the fifth year, average compensation is $94,000. The FAA also pays new hires while they are in training, as well as for training costs.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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