The UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has introduced a permanent 250-knot speed restriction for standard instrument departures (SIDs) from London’s Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Northolt and London City airports. Aircraft are required to maintain and not exceed 250 knots below FL100.
Air traffic controller
Commercial pilots and air traffic controllers who have English as a second language, as well as native speakers of English, are needed to participate in a test designed to measure spoken-English ability common in ATC/pilot radio communications internationally.
In the late 1970s, Continental Airlines president Frank Lorenzo used a court of law to confront his pilots with an existing, although seldom used, negotiating technique, abrogating their contract when he was unable to secure an agreement through traditional collective bargaining. He quickly replaced his then striking workers with a non-union workforce willing to accept his management style and pay scale.
The DOT inspector general’s office will audit the FAA’s progress in implementing its controller workforce plan for hiring approximately 12,500 new controllers to replace those expected to leave over the next 10 years. The agency watchdog will evaluate the FAA’s progress and assess the effectiveness of other initiatives designed to increase controller productivity.
Hoping to stave off a shortage in air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA will hire 12,500 controllers over the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified more quickly. More than 11,000 controllers are expected to leave the agency between now and 2014.
A Government Accountability Office study of five foreign air navigation service providers, including Nav Canada, found that since “commercialization,” all have maintained safety, controlled costs and improved efficiency. All five have invested in new technologies that they say lowered costs by increasing controllers’ productivity and produced operating efficiencies, such as fewer or shorter delays.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) called the FAA’s imposition of new work rules over the Labor Day weekend “a brazen, arrogant trampling of the collective bargaining system” and a threat to the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System.
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