As part of the agency's attempt to cut costs, the Federal
Aviation Administration has temporarily halted transfers for many
controllers looking to make the move from smaller control
facilities to larger towers or TRACONs.
It's all part of the new pay contract the FAA imposed on
controllers last month, after an impasse was declared between the
agency and controllers... and the New York Times reports the move
may change how controllers are recruited to busier control
Under the old agreement... if a controller moved from a smaller
facility, to one that handles more planes --say, from a
high-altitude Air Route Traffic Control Center, to a busy airport
control tower. -- they would have received a significant bump in
Now, however, that same controller would have to start out near
the bottom of the pay scale, and work their way up at the new
facility... if the transfer was approved at all.
The current moratorium comes as the FAA officials work out
"transition issues" before veteran controllers can decide if they
want the added challenge and prestige -- and lesser pay -- of
transferring to a busier center.
Does that sound like the FAA is discouraging more experienced
personnel from transferring to busier facilities?
Well, Ruth Marlin of the National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA) would agree... and, she says, the end result
could be less experienced controllers in some of the busiest towers
and TRACONS in the country.