Review of the Air Traffic Controller Facility Training Program
On June 5, 2008, we issued our review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) air traffic controller facility training program. Our objectives were to (1) assess the adequacy of FAA’s plans to effectively train an increasing number of new controllers at the facility level and (2) determine FAA’s progress in implementing key initiatives for reducing facility training time and costs. We found that FAA’s facility training program continues to be extremely decentralized and the efficiency and quality of the training varies extensively from one location to another. We found similar problems in 2004. FAA is taking actions at the national level to get this important program on track, but many of its efforts are still in the early stages. To successfully achieve its plans to hire and train 17,000 new controllers through 2017, FAA needs to take the following actions: (1) reflect the changing composition of the controller workforce in reports to its stakeholders, (2) establish realistic standards for how many developmental controllers facilities can accommodate, (3) ensure the standards developed address individual facilities’ training capacity, (4) continue to encourage veteran controllers to transfer to busier, higher–level facilities, (5) clarify responsibilities for oversight of the facility training program at the national level, (6) ensure there are no gaps in facility training contract support, and (7) implement key initiatives it first proposed in 2004 to improve facility training.