Friday, September 15, 2017

Just Sayin’: Air control system faces staff shortage

Air control system faces staff shortage

Aviation is an economic engine that helps drive New York and the nation. However, we face a nationwide air traffic controller staffing crisis, with a 28-year low in the number of fully certified controllers. Nearly one-third of controllers are eligible to retire.

The problem could worsen. A harmful proposal being considered in Congress would eliminate the Federal Employees Retirement System annuity supplement paid to retiring air traffic controllers, law enforcement officers and firefighters, who are subject to mandatory retirement before age 62. Any reduction in retirement benefits could remove an incentive for controllers to stay on the job.

Fortunately, Rep. Peter King has been eager to learn more about air traffic control and the range of aviation issues that affect the safety and efficiency of the system. I’m grateful to him for his leadership in protecting the system.

David Romano, West Babylon

Editor’s note: The writer is an air traffic controller at the New York Center in Ronkonkoma.

Original article can be found here ➤

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