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U.S. watchdog to review efforts to ensure adequate air traffic controllers

Stock MarketsOct 12, 2021 02:05PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The control tower at LaGuardia Airport in New York City is seen after hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at New York-area airports as more air traffic controllers called in sick on Friday, in one of the most tangible signs yet of dis

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Transportation Department Office of Inspector General said Tuesday it will audit the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) efforts to ensure adequate air traffic control staffing.

The inspector general's office noted that since March 2020, FAA has been forced at times to partially shut towers and radar control facilities because of COVID-19 cases and faces veteran controllers leaving for various reasons, including retirements.

The audit will assess "FAA’s efforts to ensure that critical air traffic control facilities have an adequate number

of controllers."

It will also "identify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on FAA’s controller training program." The FAA says U.S. airspace is the busiest and most complex in the world,.

The FAA employs about 13,800 air traffic controllers in more than 300 U.S. facilities.

In 2018, the FAA said that over the prior five years it had hired over 7,800 new air traffic controllers.

In 2020, the FAA faced numerous COVID-19 cases among controllers that forced the temporary closures of air traffic control towers, including at Chicago Midway and Las Vegas airports, which resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson noted in a speech earlier that in 2020 the FAA "created sterile teams of air traffic controllers and implemented cleaning and disinfecting protocols to keep people safe and the system going.

U.S. watchdog to review efforts to ensure adequate air traffic controllers
 

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Comments (3)
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Oct 12, 2021 3:05PM ET
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Reuters propaganda piece, the lack of air traffic personnel is due to vax mandate.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Oct 12, 2021 3:03PM ET
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Air traffic controllers were not disrupted during all of 2020 when pandemic was hottest, the labor issues are result of fascist vaccine mandates violating Nuremberg Trials and thousands of employees going on strike and/or using PTO to express their disapproval of vaccine mandates.
Josh Davis
Josh Davis Oct 12, 2021 1:49PM ET
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Hey reuters its kot the cases that caused the 2100 flights to be cancelled it was strikes from vaccine mandates. Mandate that…next time dont overstep
 
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