Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Congressman Keith Rothfus (R-PA) urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that students in the Community College of Beaver County Air Traffic Control program receive fair consider as the FAA implements a new hiring policy. The policy changes could impact how candidates from the program are considered against other applicants who did not attend the Air Traffic Control program in Beaver County or at another community college in the nation. The Beaver County program has a track record of developing highly skilled air traffic controllers that contribute to airline safety.
“The Community College of Beaver County’s Air Traffic Control program has produced highly skilled workers and it’s important that the FAA continue to give these students fair consideration during the hiring process,” Senator Casey said. “Developing high quality air traffic controllers will increase airline safety. I’m urging the FAA to carefully implement this new policy so that graduates of this specialized training program can continue to compete for positions”
“The Community College of Beaver County has excelled in producing top notch air traffic controllers,” said Senator Toomey. “As a pilot, I am keenly aware of the role quality air traffic controllers play in promoting safety in air travel. With this in mind, I hope the FAA will be mindful of the important role educational institutions such as the Community College of Beaver County play in increasing air safety and allows qualified candidates to maintain their eligibility for open air traffic controller positions.”
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Administrator Huerta,
We are writing regarding the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new policy for evaluating Air Traffic Control (ATC) candidates announced in December 2013. Thank you in advance for your consideration of our views.
It is our understanding that the policy change alters the manner in which the FAA considers a candidate’s past participation in an Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program. We are advised that under the previous policy, AT-CTI students were considered separately from other applicants due, in part, to the specialized training students enrolled in AT-CTI programs receive. As the FAA moves forward with implementation of this policy change, we believe it is critical that the benefits associated with AT-CTI training be fully taken into account.
As you know, the AT-CTI program arose from a partnership between the FAA and colleges, universities, and trade schools and is designed to help prepare graduating students for ATC careers. Aspiring ATC specialists from around the country have enrolled in this program intending to develop the requisite skills and qualifications necessary for obtaining a position upon graduation. These students come from a variety of backgrounds and study at 36 diverse institutions nationwide and have made a commitment to ATC careers by dedicating time and resources to take part in AT-CTI.
As you evaluate the newly-implemented policy, we ask that you take into account the benefits of AT-CTI training and the work that is being done at places like the Community College of Beaver County, which is home to Pennsylvania’s only AT-CTI program. The Community College of Beaver County has developed a reputation for excellence and has a proven track record of developing highly skilled air traffic controllers. Given the historical partnership between the AT-CTI program and the FAA, and its importance to many Pennsylvanians, we respectfully request that you consider the intense and successful training programs that are going on in places like Beaver County as you implement this new policy.
We appreciate your time and attention to this matter, and we hope to hear from you soon.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator
United States Senator
Member of Congress