FAA Recruits Future Employees without clear definition for NextGen jobs, without training and scheduling issues resolved

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ARTICLE: FAA Opens Thousands Of Air Traffic Control Jobs: Virtual Career Fair Set For Wednesday

atcThe future of the positions assigned to individuals, whose functions will be the interface between the NextGen navigation systems, the computers, etc., is going to be VERY different from the past. What was known in the past as air traffic controllers probably will not have exactly the same position name in the NextGen environment. The new person will be more of a “manager” than a controller in that the primary function will be to respond to unexpected problems, not direct traffic.

Forgetting for the moment that a seminal question has not been answered, the DoT Inspector General has been critical of the FAA’s training regime and scheduling practices. Those also seem to pose questions about how the future air traffic controllers should be trained and how many are needed to staff facilities; answers for which should be developed before a major hire. Those concerns were articulated before two House hearings on January 14 and February 5.

The FAA issued an announcement for a virtual job fair last week. The statement reflects the historic FAA ATC work assignment. There is no indication that the people hired may be asked to perform very different tasks. Controllers, who are being trained today, may well incur substantial expense in being retrained for the NextGen job. The past and new positions may be so different that the controller may not even be able to be “retooled” as a NextGen manager.

Without answers to these basic issues, this may be a colossal waste of federal dollars. One of the FAA’s prominent assertions about both Sequestration and the Shutdown was that such a large percentage of their budget was consumed by personnel expenses. This seemingly precipitous action would appear to exacerbate the situation. Now the funds may even be committed to people who have obsolescent training.

Seems like a bad idea now, because the underlying thoughts and analysis have not yet been carefully completed.

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1 Comment on "FAA Recruits Future Employees without clear definition for NextGen jobs, without training and scheduling issues resolved"

  1. Sandy Murdock | March 9, 2014 at 11:42 am | Reply

    UND students and faculty comment http://www.wdaz.com/event/article/id/22991/

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