ATC hiring standards back in Obama Admin

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
#1
Seems I have someone to school...can someone with more ATC knowledge give me more details on how best to school her?

EXCLUSIVE TUCKER INVESTIGATION: In the name of diversity, the Obama administration lowered the hiring standards for air traffic controllers. The FAA screening test was changed to penalize pilots and give extra points to the unemployed and people who failed in science.

One gals says :
PC culture is ruining our safety

The gal I need to school says:
More like ruining the country! I heard about this when it happened. Billy’s school took a big hit in their ATC program. Why would kids get a degree in ATC and a private pilot’s license when all you had to do was be unemployed and and play sports in high school? I’m glad this has come to light and maybe they can get rid of it.

Clue me in...Thanks! :)
 

RDoug

Well-Known Member
#2
Odd, because in my experience the quality of recruits was raised considerably during that administration with the reinstatement of pass/fail and the reestablishment of some actual screening at the academy. Our facility failure rate is way down, check-out times are way down, and errors are way down over what they were following the real degradation of standards that occurred during the Marion Blakey debacle.

It's unfortunate that a degree ever entered into the picture, as a degree is in no way an indicator of how one performs in ATC. That whole program was introduced as a cost-saving measure, and actually degraded the quality of people entering the field. Considerably so, in my experience.
 
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Kekistan

Active Member
#5
Seems I have someone to school...can someone with more ATC knowledge give me more details on how best to school her?

EXCLUSIVE TUCKER INVESTIGATION: In the name of diversity, the Obama administration lowered the hiring standards for air traffic controllers. The FAA screening test was changed to penalize pilots and give extra points to the unemployed and people who failed in science.

One gals says :
PC culture is ruining our safety

The gal I need to school says:
More like ruining the country! I heard about this when it happened. Billy’s school took a big hit in their ATC program. Why would kids get a degree in ATC and a private pilot’s license when all you had to do was be unemployed and and play sports in high school? I’m glad this has come to light and maybe they can get rid of it.

Clue me in...Thanks! :)
In fact, the Obama administration is throwing out basic competency tests in hiring air-traffic controllers so they can diversify the field — and put us all at risk.

https://nypost.com/2016/01/03/the-quota-driven-drive-to-make-flying-more-perilous/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/affirmative-action-lands-in-the-air-traffic-control-tower-1433283292

http://www.thedailygouge.com/?p=31466

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/should-the-government-hire-off-the-street-air-traffic-controllers
 
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Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
#6
Oh come on....there was plenty of hate on here for the dumping of the CTI program and institution of the biographical questionnaire back then. Don’t pretend otherwise just because someone pointed out that it was an Obama-era change.
 

nabbyfan

Well-Known Member
#7
There was really shady stuff that went down with a sup at one of the big NY facilities, either the TRACON or Center, that somehow got ahold of the correct answers for the BQ. He sent that info out to a group called the NBCFAE, who in turn helped their members apply and get hired as controllers. It happened during Obama’s administration but I don’t see how you can like....portray that as his fault.

It sucks that it happened, but as a CTI grad myself, the CTI program and ATSAT were completely useless. The program was absolutely out of control with nowhere near enough oversight. When I started there were 13 schools, when I graduated there were over 30....most of which were crappy two year degree mill programs where you get in and out with the CTI recommendation ASAP without getting anything out of the program.

There’s still a lot wrong with the hiring process and placement, but the one positive is that they are weeding people out at the Academy instead of the facility for the most part, which is better for everyone. An Enroute class that manages to pass over 50% is considered excellent.

Edit: I’ll also add that a college degree or aviation experience has almost no bearing on somebody’s potential as a controller. At least in the enroute world, it’s about being able to make quick, logical, decisions under pressure. I’d say 90%+ of my facility has no piloting experience, or even any interest in aviation. I’ve seen more than a few instances of somebody with all the smarts in the world who has all the knowledge, Maps, SOP and LOA’s committed to memory absolutely freeze in front of the scope. My own class back at the academy our top book guy came down to Evals with a 98% after academics, and he washed out after only 2 of the 3 eval problems.
 
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NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
#8
So much of the info in that Tucker report is out dated and has been changed for several years. The first year of the Bio-q was a disaster, with 28,000 applicants and only something like 3000 passing the Bio-q. They revamped it within a year and it is much better now. Additionally prior experience people AND CTI grads no longer have to take the Bio-q (and haven't since 2015 I believe). Thirdly, the CTI program wasn't (and isn't) particularly that good. All it did was teach you how to pass the Academy. There was no standardization and the quality of the schools varied greatly and they didn't have a common curriculum. Fourthly, it is better having all source hiring bids rather than just making the only pathway the military or CTI. Once you're out of the Academy, there is no difference between the off the street hire and the CTI hire.

I agree the FAA absolutely bungled the rollout of the Bio-q and its reversion to General Public bids, but unlike so many try to say, at no time was the flying public in any danger and at no time were standards lowered. All it did was allow more people to apply. They still had to pass the Academy and still have to certify at their facility. And based on the current washout rates at the Academy, something like 70% for enroute and 60% for terminal, no one that shouldn't pass is passing.
 

Stryker172

Well-Known Member
#9
The scoring system was so absurd. Why would someone that was unemployed and performed poorly academically gain more points than someone thats had steady employment and worked hard in school?
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
#11
The scoring system was so absurd. Why would someone that was unemployed and performed poorly academically gain more points than someone thats had steady employment and worked hard in school?
Well, someone that hasn't had 3 years of progressively increasing work experience isn't eligible to apply. Their application won't even make it past the computer filter. And they didn't say anything about doing bad at school, they asked which of the listed subjects was your worst subject in school. Based on answers from current controllers, it was found that current certified controllers did worse in science than the other listed subjects, so the test is based on the assumption that you'll have a higher chance of certifying if you were worse at science than math etc. The "poor school performance" is just spin put on it by Carlson that doesn't match what it is at all. It's a complete bastardization of the question that's asked.
 
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A80TRACON

I do the best imitation of myself
#14
Simply put, CTI programs cannot adequately judge whether you will make a good controller.

Go back to the 16 week pass/fail (which weeded out the weak long before they got to their facilities).

This old system (all non-radar) showed who had the aptitude to think in 4 dimensions and really use their brains.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
#15
They still had to pass the Academy and still have to certify at their facility. And based on the current washout rates at the Academy, something like 70% for enroute and 60% for terminal, no one that shouldn't pass is passing.
So far this year, enroute and terminal are both passing about 60%.
There is a good number of people that pass that academy that have no business talking to a real airplane. Also a good number of people that should be passing, but have a couple mistakes and they end up failing, even though the instructors know they'd have no issues at a real facility.

Simply put, CTI programs cannot adequately judge whether you will make a good controller.
Neither can the academy in the current system (terminal at least). I'd imagine enroute is basically the same between all the centers and corresponds adequately with the academy.
 

greg1016

Trustworthy Source
#16
There was really shady stuff that went down with a sup at one of the big NY facilities, either the TRACON or Center, that somehow got ahold of the correct answers for the BQ. He sent that info out to a group called the NBCFAE, who in turn helped their members apply and get hired as controllers. It happened during Obama’s administration but I don’t see how you can like....portray that as his fault.
He was a bargaining unit employee at ORF (not a supervisor) when he disseminated those answers. It hit Fox Business News after he had accepted the bid for a front line manager position at ZNY. Of course in their infallible wisdom, the powers that be still allowed him to report as a supervisor to ZNY. When he got to ZNY the news had broke and no one wanted to work with him. He sat around for at least 4 months doing nothing because no area wanted him and whenever he'd get assigned an area there would be a barrage of complaints. Ask me how I know.
 

Stinger

Well-Known Member
#17
He was a bargaining unit employee at ORF (not a supervisor) when he disseminated those answers. It hit Fox Business News after he had accepted the bid for a front line manager position at ZNY. Of course in their infallible wisdom, the powers that be still allowed him to report as a supervisor to ZNY. When he got to ZNY the news had broke and no one wanted to work with him. He sat around for at least 4 months doing nothing because no area wanted him and whenever he'd get assigned an area there would be a barrage of complaints. Ask me how I know.
Isn't he still at ZNY?
 
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