AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLER SHORTAGE COULD LEAD TO WIDESPREAD DELAYS
Air traffic control towers are understaffed and that could lead to widespread flight delays, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association said Tuesday.
The labor union said they are severely understaffed and at their lowest point in 27 years.
The Federal Aviation Administration is not hiring as many controllers needed to fill spots for those who are eligible for retirement, the union said.
Training for the positions takes two to four years.
The FAA said it had to close its training academy for nine months due to past government shutdowns and budget cuts, which contributed to a delay for new controllers. The agency said it is working hard to reach staffing targets.
The number of air traffic controllers has dropped 10 percent since 2011. Some controllers in New York, Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago have to work six-day weeks in in order to make up for the shortage.