Opportunities To Improve FAA's Process for Placing and Training Air Traffic Controllers in Light of Pending Retirements
We issued our report on FAA's strategy for replacing the significant number of air traffic controllers expected to retire over the next five years. We found that while FAA's nationwide estimates of expected controller attrition are reasonable, it needs to develop attrition estimates by location. Implementing the CRU-X labor distribution system for the Air Traffic Organization, as we have recommended in previous reports, would provide FAA with data to uniformly identify where and when retirements will occur. We also found that FAA needs to assess newly hired controllers’ abilities before they are placed. We recommended FAA 1) establish a system to uniformly estimate controller attrition by location and adjust national attrition and hiring strategies as needed; and 2) develop an assessment process for identifying a new controller's potential to certify and a certain facility level and use this information in placing newly hired controllers.