Enhanced Oversight of Staffing and Training at FAA's Critical Facilities is Needed to Maintain Continuity of Operations
On January 12, 2012, we issued a report on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) oversight of staffing and training at its most critical air traffic control facilities. We conducted our review at the request of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. After identifying 21 critical facilities, we found that enhanced oversight of staffing and training at FAA's critical facilities is needed to maintain continuity of air traffic operations. Critical facilities face a potential shortage of certified professional controllers, as they have higher rates of retirement eligibility, controllers-in-training, and training attrition than other facilities nationwide. In addition, as FAA begins deploying Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) technologies, critical facilities will require even more training resources for both veteran and new controllers. We made five recommendations to assist FAA in ensuring the continuity of operations at its most critical facilities, and FAA concurred or partially concurred with all five. Based on FAA’s response, we are closing three recommendations, and consider the remaining two resolved but open pending completion of planned actions.