Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Okay, So I Lied



I know I said I’d put all the ATC stuff on James Fallows’ blog at the Atlantic but I just couldn’t pass this one up and it would take too much time to explain it to a more general-type audience.

Any controller that was working between 1981 and, say, 1987 will share in my sense of deja vu, reading this article.

Air-traffic concerns on the rise in Colorado

”I-News, a nonprofit news collaborative for Colorado media, examined nearly 11 years of National Aeronautics and Space Administration data and found that the total number of reports through the first 11 months of 2010 exceeded the number of similar reports filed over the previous five years combined.”

”The problem, the report said, is "many very junior, and often not even fully certified controllers cutting a lot of corners, and doing some very sloppy coordination." And the trainers, the veteran added, were being asked to teach others after having only "a year or two at the most on the job themselves.”

”Mike Naiman, one of the Colorado controllers set to retire then, says officials in Congress and the FAA need to pay special attention to the coming wave of retirements. "We kept telling them, 'You're going to see a lot of people go,' " he said.”

Mike is right (of course.) We tried to warn them. Over and over and over again.

I hope you won’t read these words anywhere else; It’s a good thing we had a recession. At least that slowed the traffic down and gave the FAA a little breathing room. Not to mention, it kept a lot of controllers from retiring -- when their retirement funds tanked. I just hope it’s enough.

Don Brown
March 2, 2011

1 comment:

crude said...

Don, I don't know about you but for me, I'm glad I'm gone and out of that.

Crude - retired 12/06