FAA desperate for air traffic controllers

A plane flies past the control tower at Salt Lake City International Airport.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Wanted: Air traffic controllers in New York. So many are retiring and the FAA is desperate to fill those jobs. It's turning to MySpace, Craigslist and other sites to get it done.

Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: It's not easy to tempt air traffic controllers to New York. The cost of living is high and with millions of flights a year to guide, the job is stressful and complex.

Laura Brown is a spokesperson for the FAA. She says the agency is casting as wide a net as possible for new recruits.

Laura Brown: We're using every advertising vehicle we can right now to reach out to young people.

She says there's no staffing crisis at New York's air traffic control towers. Barrett Byrnes begs to differ. He works at the JFK tower and is a member of the air traffic controllers union.

Barrett Byrnes: We have gone from 37 controllers approximately a year to a year and a half ago and right now, we're down to 22 fully performance air traffic controllers.

He says there are plenty of young trainees, but he says it takes three to five years to become fully trained.

I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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