Senator Durbin & Air Traffic Controllers to FAA … Hello!

By Robert Mark on December 13th, 2007

Now that Senator Dick Durbin (D)IL has demanded action from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Inspector General we can only hope acting FAA administrator Bobby Sturgell is listening.durbin

The problem at hand is not really a tough one and is something I talked about with then NATCA VP Ruth Marlin for a magazine story two years ago.

(U.S. Senator Dick Durbin)

FAA plans for having enough trained bodies in the right ATC facilities at the right time simply didn’t then and still doesn’t have much to do with the reality of the air traffic situation at hand.

The recent GAO report warned everyone – ding, ding, ding red lights flashing and all – that the number of really close calls is not simply some academic issue, but a real problem, especially for those of us either in front where we can watch the action up close, or in the back where we can only feel the results. Tired controllers make more mistakes than well-rested controllers, just like pilots.

As a consumer and a pilot, I don’t want to hear a spokesperson from FAA tell me abobobby_sturgellut the great progress the agency is making toward its goal of … blah, blah, blah. If controllers are working mandatory overtime and or six-day weeks folks … you don’t have enough people.

Over to you Bobby .

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2 Responses to “Senator Durbin & Air Traffic Controllers to FAA … Hello!”

  1. FAA’s Bobby Sturgell Needs to Check His Voicemail … Now - Jetwhine: Aviation Buzz and Bold Opinon Says:

    […] The dramatic increase in the number of close calls both on the ground and in the air over the past six months, as well as the November GAO report warning that safety in the nation’s skies will become even more compromised without significant change seems to be falling on deaf ears at 800 Independence Ave. Controllers are working way too much forced overtime to make the system function. […]

  2. Jeff Walukonis Says:

    The FAA has met it’s goal of running like a business. They are just like the airlines now. They cut the pay of new hires, freeze the pay of all the older workers, and give the resulting millions of dollars to the managers in the form of salary, cash bonuses and Plasmas for their office.
    The FAA has now announced they missed their Flight Plan metric for this past performance year. One of the 5 items they failed was “Customer Service”…passengers should not feel vindicated though…according to the FAA their customers are NOT the passengers.
    So what was the result. 12 million more dollars was removed from the workers salary this past January and will be given to managers and supervisors this June…where did they get these creative managers???? the airlines??

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