FAA Professional Standards Program Gaining Followers

AINsafety » March 19, 2012
March 19, 2012, 4:00 PM

Air traffic controllers traditionally watch out for each other as a group, knowing full well that few people outside towers and radar rooms truly understand the daily pressures of keeping airplanes safely separated. But a report last week shows there just might be a kink in that armor of solidarity.

A Biloxi, Miss. controller turned in a co-worker for running two aircraft – a turboprop and an Air Force C-130 – too close together. Standards require separation of 1,000 feet vertically and three miles laterally. The Biloxi controller’s separations clocked in at 300 feet and 2.59 miles. The same Biloxi controller had been cited for running aircraft too closely together just a year ago and was temporarily removed from the job.

Sources said the new finger-pointing efforts could also represent a shot across the bow in a new professional standards program agreed to between the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) and the FAA. The goal might just be to help the FAA more easily rid itself of poor controllers, something that also benefits NATCA.

The FAA said it has fired more than 130 controllers since October 2009. NATCA had no one available to comment, but an FAA spokesman said the agency and “NATCA have partnered on a professional standards pilot program that provides an opportunity for employees to address performance and/or the conduct of their peers…which provides an additional mechanism for union and management to address workforce issues.”

Outsiders, however, have said the new program also leaves the door wide open for controllers to potentially rid themselves of comrades they don’t like or trust.

FILED UNDER: 
Safety
ATC
Share this...

Comments

No Avatar
PHIL
on March 20, 2012 - 2:46pm

Despite what this agreement might say, NATCA is only interested in firing 2 groups of controllers, namely their most senior experienced controllers that call attention to their lie that controllers must retire by age 56, and non-union controllers, who must be punished as an example to others. This is their real agenda.

No Avatar
Dave
on January 30, 2013 - 4:04pm

"PHIL" does not know what he is talking about.

Please Register

In order to leave comments you will now need to be a registered user. This change in policy is to protect our site from an increased number of spam comments. Additionally, in the near future you will be able to better manage your AIN subscriptions via this registration system. If you already have an account, click here to log in. Otherwise, click here to register.

 
X