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Fri, Aug 25, 2006

FAA Air Traffic Controller Workforce Plan Forecasts 12,000 New Controllers

Also Says More Than 10,000 Will Leave Before 2015

On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an updated Air Traffic Controller Workforce Plan designed to address anticipated retirement and replacement of air traffic controllers over the coming decade. The revised document outlines the agency's plans to hire more than 11,800 new air traffic controllers over the next 10 years.

The plan is the first update to A Plan for the Future: The Federal Aviation Administration's 10-year Strategy for the Air Traffic Control Workforce, which the FAA released in December 2004. The revised plan is based on updated traffic forecasts, experience with productivity increases and actual retirements and improved mathematical models.

"The controller workforce plan ensures that the FAA will have the right number of controllers in place at the right time to address the controller retirement bubble," said FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey. "We are focusing on all aspects of the process, including recruitment, hiring, training and staffing requirements."

As part of the revised plan, the FAA will hire 930 controllers by the end of this fiscal year. The President has requested funding as part of his 2007 budget request to allow the agency to hire more than 1,130 additional controllers in fiscal year 2007. The plan notes that hiring more than 2,000 controllers over the next two years will allow the agency to replace departing controllers and increase the size of its workforce by more than 200 controllers.

The plan also addresses the broader need to hire more than 11,800 controllers over the next 10 years based on the latest attrition and traffic growth modeling done by the agency. It outlines how the agency will bring on these new controllers using a schedule designed to provide adequate training lead-time and to address changing air traffic demands over the coming decade.

The agency noted that it has begun hiring and training new controllers, having already hired more than 700 candidates this year. The current pool of controller candidates from various hiring sources exceeds 3,700, which is sufficient to meet staffing needs for the next several years.

The FAA currently expects that more than 10,000 controllers will leave the work force between now and 2015 through retirements, promotions and other forms of attrition. Attrition estimates are expected to be more precise with each annual update of the plan, due to updated traffic forecasts, retirement numbers and refined mathematical models.

FMI: www.faa.gov

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