The National Air Traffic Controllers Association appreciates Congressman Simpson’s recent support of H.R. 5292, The Air Traffic Controller Hiring Improvement Act of 2016. This bipartisan legislation would address the current staffing crisis within the Federal Aviation Administration, which is currently at a 27-year low for certified professional controllers. In addition, there are more controllers eligible to retire than there are personnel to replace them. The remaining controllers will not allow safety to be compromised, but in order to accomplish this, services will have to be curtailed. This would result in a dramatic increase in delays. These delays would impact more than just those that fly regularly since civil aviation accounts for $1.5 trillion to the nation’s economy. This bill cuts through the bureaucracy and red tape of government to streamline the hiring of military veterans and graduates of collegiate air traffic programs and reverses the troubling downward trend of our nation’s air traffic controller staffing.
Mark Harris, Boise Air Traffic Control Tower