Hosted annually by NATCA, Communicating For Safety (CFS) is the aviation industry’s leading conference focusing on safety, technology, and building relationships with other aviation professionals. This three-day conference, which was held March 21-23 at Bally’s in Las Vegas, is unique in that it's the only conference of its kind to focus specifically on the air traffic needs of all members of the aviation community who are affected by the National Airspace System (NAS).
Air traffic controller staffing has been a concern for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association for many years, but it has now reached a crisis level. We’ve said it repeatedly over the past few years: the status quo is unacceptable.
Controller staffing has fallen nearly 10 percent since 2011, and the FAA has missed its hiring goals in each of the last five years. With one third of our workforce eligible to retire, the FAA’s bureaucratic structure is failing. In fiscal year 2015, the FAA fell 24 percent below its staffing goals. If this situation continues unaddressed, we will be hard-pressed to maintain current capacity, let alone expand and modernize the system.
NATCA supports air traffic control reform and believes we must have stable, predictable funding for the National Airspace System (NAS). The FAA Reauthorization bill contains necessary reforms that we believe will help us maintain the safest, most efficient airspace in the world while we move forward with innovative modernization projects, while protecting the workforce.
The current aviation system has served us well until recent years. Unfortunately, we no longer have a stable or predictable funding stream and this uncertainty has caused many serious problems for the system. Without change, we face continued funding uncertainty.
"All stakeholders in the NAS must work together to ensure that the United States remains the world leader in aviation," said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi, pictured above.
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