The Aviation Minute: Episode 9 – The FAA Shoots Itself in the Foot

By Robert Mark on May 1st, 2014

FAA-Logo_thumb.jpgWhen the FAA tells you they’re changing the way they conduct business because they want to be more fair to someone, or that they want to save money, it’s probably time to duck. You can pretty much be sure that whatever they have in mind isn’t going to be as effective as they think.

Late last year the FAA completely revamped the way it hires air traffic controllers. The reasons seemed clear to the agency folks I think  … recruit a better caliber of controller, save money by reducing training time and … if you read between the lines, to increase diversity in the controller ranks.TAM Final LogoRGB

Are you really going to be surprised when I tell you that they seem to have failed at all of these goals? AND, they created a problem at all 36 CTI schools - their regular supply line for new controllers – where one didn’t exist before.

Rob Mark, Publisher

If you’re receiving this edition of The Aviation Minute by e-mail, click here to listen to the show. If you have difficulty hearing the broadcast, e-mail me directly at rob@jetwhine.com

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9 Responses to “The Aviation Minute: Episode 9 – The FAA Shoots Itself in the Foot”

  1. Fred Ruble Says:

    They’ve also created a problem for the 3,500+ CTI graduates who’ve been patiently waiting their turn for years in many cases, following the FAA’s guidelines only to have their hard-earned efforts and records tossed into the trash. The question is, will this February hiring bid be allowed to stand? If so, who can really put any confidence in the FAA going forward?

  2. SFischer Says:

    But wait, there’s more! Under the old plan, applicants would get their AT-SAT test scores back within 2-3 *days* of taking the exam. 70 was passing and 85 or higher was “Well Qualified.”

    Under this new “plan,” they are waiting for ALL 2200 applicants to take the test before reporting any scores.

    Time to duck, indeed.

  3. RayOU Says:

    CTI graduates were exempt from the first 5 weeks at the FAA Academy; that meant no pay and no $89 per diem, that the taxpayers saved on every CTI graduate. Also, every CTI applicant were informed years before applying that they must pass a public trust background check and a Class II Medical. So the FAA was getting the best of the best. It has been reported that the diversity of the 2200 who passed the Biographical Questionnaire is less than what the CTI schools were providing. Smell a fish?

  4. Fred Ruble Says:

    I’m ducking & smelling rotten Danish fish. When does Congress get involved to challenge this discrimination? Why isn’t this issue in the news?

  5. hfourx Says:

    Where is this report you claim RayOU? Seems like no report would have been made as that demographic information would not be available for the agency since they haven’t actually hired anybody from this bid yet. Any “report” you’ve heard would be hearsay.

    SFischer – source?

  6. Robert Mark Says:

    Ah … actually Fred … it is in the news. Right here.

    You folks need to help share this story with the people in Congress though, so pass it around.

  7. Fred Ruble Says:

    Thanks, Rob. Actually I’ve previously contacted my Michigan Congressman – Carl Levin – and he seems disinterested. Maybe because he’s retiring, I dunno. Very frustrating but I agree with your advice to those in the other 49 states. Congress needs to demand accountability from the FAA who, here to date, have provided none whatsoever at the pleasure of your and my tax dollars. Is this what the founders of our Constitution imagined for our government?

  8. Jeremy McMillen Says:

    I was about to start in the fall the CTI program at Eastern New Mexico University Roswell when I found out FAA was basically making it pointless to go to it I changed to Go triple Associates in Applied Science (AAS) Air Traffic Control and AAS Airline Dispatch and AAS Airport Manager at Green River Community Collage up in Auburn Washington. So instead of staying in State for collage having a decent shot at a good job after words I have to go out of state get three degrees and still have no idea if someone will higher me after that, at least before hand I had a shot with FAA

  9. SFischer Says:

    hfourx – Sorry for the delay in responding, forgot to check the “notify” box… To your questions:

    RayOU said “it has “been reported” not that “there is a report.” The reporting is from various sources, including NATCA emails. Nothing from the FAA, although they *could* provide a report as they certainly *know* who they deemed “eligible” and “NOT eligible.” (Their emphasis, btw.)

    As to my comment, that’s feedback from students who were deemed eligible, have since taken the AT-SAT exam, and when asked about their scores, were told “we’re waiting until everybody tests.” Why would the FAA do that?

    Better still, the testing is still ongoing and more recent testers are reporting that they are being told “the FAA does not plan to release the test scores.” What?!?!!?

    So, they screened possible applicants – 7.8% pass rate – by using secret scoring of a (dubiously useful) questionnaire. Then they will hire from those applicants by using secret scoring of a well-established (and fairly public) aptitude exam! Nope!! Absolutely. Nothing. Fishy. About. That.

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