NATCA urges increased funding for more controllers

 - July 23, 2007, 10:35 AM

National Air Traffic Controllers Association president John Carr said, “Fewer eyes watching busier skies is not a scenario any of us want. Unless funds for hiring [new controllers] are appropriated, staff shortages will inevitably lead to serious delays, congestion and, yes, safety concerns.” NATCA is calling for $14 million to be allocated for hiring and training new controllers as part of the FAA’s 2005 fiscal-year budget. House and Senate funding bills are currently in the formulation process, and Carr said, “In the wake of transportation secretary [Norman] Mineta’s call for tripling air capacity, we are forced to sit and watch as fewer controllers watch more airplanes. Given that it takes three to five years to train a controller–and not everyone makes the cut–this problem needs to be addressed now.”