WASHINGTON - Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Air Traffic Control Safe Operations and Readiness Act Monday, a bill designed to decrease the number of applicants that flunk out of the air traffic control academy.
“When employers look to hire a new employee, common sense suggests they should look for qualified candidates with job-relevant experience,” Sen. Lee said. “Currently federal law forbids the FAA from doing this for half of their air traffic controller hire. This is ridiculous. We need to let the FAA hire experienced candidates that have the best skills to keep us safe.”
The ATC SOAR Act would restore common sense hiring to the FAA by eliminating the requirement that approximately 50% of open controller positions go to “off the street” applicants and would instruct the FAA to give preference to veterans, national guard members, and candidates with previous controller experience or training.