The association of collegiate training institutions (ACTI)–the group that represents 36 FAA-authorized air traffic-collegiate training initiative (AT-CTI) colleges and universities–criticized the FAA last week for eliminating preferential hiring for AT-CTI graduates. It said the move could potentially undermine safety and threaten the viability of the schools.
Last December, the FAA halted the preferential treatment of AT-CTI graduates and purged a list of more than 3,000 students who had already passed the agency’s hiring tests in place at the time.
“The FAA is aware that CTI students perform much better than general-public applicants without any experience,” ACTI said in a news release. “The [FAA’s] new hiring process requires absolutely zero experience or education, only that they have three years of progressively responsible work experience and pass a 62-question personality test. The test includes penetrating questions such as ‘What sports did you play in high school?’ and ‘How many college credits did you take in art/music/dance/drama?’”
ACTI says the flying public should not accept the FAA’s reassurance that intensive training at its own air traffic academy guarantees the quality of new recruits. “When [FAA] leadership begins twisting data to prove success or starts curving test scores, how long before those same methods trickle down to the academy and your local airport?” the group argued.