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January 19, 2009 / Toby Dayton

Air Traffic Contoller Shortage Still A Problem

Early last year, I highlighted a story in the New York Times about the alarming trends in the FAA and the looming shortage of air traffic controllers. Well, it’s a year later, and the problem is just as bad, if not worse, with 15,000 air traffic controllers (70% of the FAA’s employees) expected to retire by 2015. Maybe some of that TARP money should go to schools that can train people to fill those jobs and cash incentives to get people to enroll. If people are willing to enlist in the military as a preferred alternative to unemployment, they’d certainly be willing to accept the stress of a career as an air traffic controller. The schools would benefit from the ‘stimulus’ and the students would receive training that guarantees them lifelong employment. Such a program could also get 15,000+ people back to work. That might be a small number given the millions that are out of work, but it certainly beats a cash payout to guys like John C. Hope III who has no intention of doing anything but pocketing the $300 million handout he received from taxpayers.