DOT IG: FAA Data Muddles Controller Training Failures

 - June 25, 2009, 12:08 PM

A report to Congress by the Transportation Department inspector general found that the FAA’s reported rate of training failures among newly hired air traffic controllers is not accurate because the agency does not track failures among new controllers separately; the current rate will likely increase as the FAA hires more new controllers between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2017; the FAA does not have a uniform definition of training failures and other types of attrition; and training failure data were incomplete, inaccurate or understated. The FAA’s training attrition rate for all controllers was about 7 percent in FY 2007. The agency says it plans to hire and train nearly 17,000 new controllers through 2017 to replace the large pool of controllers hired after the 1981 strike who are now retiring. The IG recommended the FAA focus on developing procedures to obtain accurate data on training failures to monitor and improve the training program.