Natca Questions FAA’s Hiring Claims
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) is disputing the FAA’s claims that the agency exceeded air traffic controller staffing targets for the fiscal year that ended on September 30. The agency said it hired more than 1,800 controllers during the year, topping the FY06 year-end total by 256 controllers. As a result, the agency now employs 14,874 controllers. The union countered that “a record number of controller retirements” and total attrition in FY07, “fueled by outrage over the lack of a contract,” has left the country with a 15-year low in the number of fully certified controllers on the job. Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell acknowledged that the agency predicted 700 retirements and ended up with 828.