April 18, 2014

Cardin, Mikulski Call On FAA To Honor Commitment To Baltimore Air Traffic Control Students

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced that they have called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to honor its commitment to active students and recent graduates of Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) preparing to be part of FAA’s Air Traffic Controller workforce. Recent changes made under the FAA’s A Plan For The Future could disqualify highly-trained recent graduates that have invested their time and money for future careers as Air Traffic Controllers with the FAA.

 

Maryland’s Community College of Baltimore (CCBC) is home to one of thirty-six schools across the county that offers the CTI program, graduating more than 120 students a year. More than 42 percent of these graduates are female or minority students.

 

“Students and recent graduates of the CCBC CTI program have expressed to us their concern that the new hiring process outlined in A Plan for the Future may prevent them from securing employment as an air traffic controller after they have invested thousands of dollars in tuition and countless hours into school and training,” the Senators wrote. “Their expectation upon entering the CTI program was that their hard work would result in being hired as an air traffic controller.  We do not want these hard-working and qualified graduates to be bypassed and not given the due consideration they expected upon entering the CTI program.”

 

In 2013, the FAA began a complete overhaul to its hiring process under the A Plan For The Future program in an effort to help diversify its current Air Traffic Controller Workforce. Under the new guidelines, the FAA will no longer favor graduates from the CTI program, but will instead heavily rely on a “Biographical Questionnaire” in its hiring process. These changes have raised concerns among current students and recent graduates of CTI programs who will no longer be given credit for having previously received intensive training to become Air Traffic Controllers.

 

The letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta follows:

 

April 14, 2014

 

Mr. Michael Huerta

Administrator

Federal Aviation Administration

800 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20591

 

Dear Administrator Huerta:

 

We are writing to express our support for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) efforts to diversify the Air Traffic Controller workforce so that it better reflects America. At the same time, we want to seek clarification on the impact these changes may have on current students and recent graduates of Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (CTI) programs.

 

Maryland’s Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) is home to one of the 36 CTI schools across the country. The CCBC CTI program graduates an average of 120 students per year and provides the FAA with a diverse pool of air traffic controller candidates, with the yearly average student population represented by 42 percent female or minority students.

 

Students and recent graduates of the CCBC CTI program have expressed to us their concern that the new hiring process outlined in A Plan for the Future may prevent them from securing employment as an air traffic controller after they have invested thousands of dollars in tuition and countless hours into school and training. Their expectation upon entering the CTI program was that their hard work would result in being hired as an air traffic controller.  We do not want these hard-working and qualified graduates to be bypassed and not given the due consideration they expected upon entering the CTI program.

 

We heartily support your efforts to attract qualified minorities into the air traffic controller workforce and request that you help the student who are currently in the pipeline understand what changes have been made, how these changes will benefit the air traffic controller workforce, and how the changes will impact their applications. We also request that you give the current students and recent graduates, who entered the program before this hiring change took effect, greater consideration throughout the air traffic controller application process.

 

Sincerely,

Ben Cardin

United States Senator

 

Barbara Mikulski

United States Senator

 

 

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