The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received more than 57,500 applications for this year’s job opening for air traffic controllers(ATC). To be precise, FAA received 57,956 applications.
As the agency continues to avoid any sort of staffing shortage as well as flight delays and cancellations, the agency had opened job vacancies for 1,500 open air traffic controller positions. Earlier in July, acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen stated that the FAA was on track to hire 1,000 controllers this year.
Fewer ATC controllers compared to 2011: FAA
Back in 2011, there were over 15,000 air traffic controllers including trainees on board the FAA, according to the head of the ATC union.
“By the beginning of 2022, there were more than 1,000 fewer fully certified controllers, and 1,500 fewer total controllers on board, a number that has declined for at least the past 11 years.”Rich Santa, Head of the ATC union
Federal air traffic controllers generally manage the traffic at airports across the country. They control the ATC towers, approach control facilities, or route centers, and are important for aircraft’s movement across the nation’s airports. The FAA is looking forward to hiring and training air traffic controllers as planned.
“The FAA annually hires new air traffic controllers, is on target to meet our hiring goal this year, and is reducing the backlog of training caused by COVID-19,” the FAA confirmed in a statement.
Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg has stated the agency is working to ensure that there is enough staffing to meet the gradually increasing demand for air travel following ease in travel restrictions.
Air Traffic Controllers had a median annual salary of $138,556 in 2021. According to FAA, the selected applicants from the 2022 hiring will join around 14,000 air traffic controllers across the country.
Once selected, they will be attending a training academy in Oklahoma City before starting to work as an ATC controller across the US airports. All aspiring applicants must be under 30 years of age.
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