At least 250 pilots are estimated to be hired this year by the Big Four fractional providers, according to Aviation Information Resources (AIR). This is about 50 more than were hired last year. If the estimate turns out to be accurate, it will reverse a slide that frax hiring has been on since the Atlanta-based firm began tracking the employment situation at such operators four years ago.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association filed a lawsuit in late January asking a federal court to order the Federal Service Impasses Panel to resolve a bargaining issue between NATCA and the FAA that affects employees at 11 facilities. NATCA also named the Federal Labor Relations Authority in its suit.
In the ongoing saga of air traffic controller staffing, the FAA announced yesterday as part of its 10-year forecast that it is increasing controller hiring to better meet attrition and increasing system demand. The agency’s updated Air Traffic Control Workforce Plan now specifies the need for 15,000 new controllers over the next decade, up from previous plans for 12,500 new controllers over a similar period.
Reliance Aerotech Services (RAS) of Nashville, Tenn., has launched a toll-free recruitment hotline to make it easier for prospective employees to contact the company’s recruiters. RAS provides outsourced aviation maintenance personnel and integration solutions for the defense, government, business and commercial aviation markets.
Comair has given its pilots until March 4 to ratify a tentative deal forged with union representatives last month after U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Adlai Hardin ruled that the group cannot legally call a strike. The agreement came just as management prepared to impose $15.8 million in cost concessions, authority for which Hardin had granted in December. Whatever the result of the pilot vote, ALPA vowed to appeal Hardin’s ruling.
Three of the five pilots for Cleveland-based fractional aircraft operator Flight Options who are trying to organize pilots under International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1108 (the same union that represents NetJets fractional pilots) told AIN that they soon expect to have enough organizing cards to call a vote.
Bombardier Aerospace yesterday revealed it will build a component manufacturing facility in Querétaro, Mexico, to begin operations next May, initially producing wire harnesses but eventually having the capability for "final aircraft assembly." Later next year the facility is scheduled to start manufacturing "major structural aircraft components" currently being built by Asian suppliers.
The FAA has bestowed its highest award, the Diamond Award for Maintenance Excellence, on Raytheon Aircraft Services Indianapolis. The Diamond Award is the FAA’s highest honor for training and recognizes professional technicians and their employer. A facility must have at least 25 percent of its employees participating in the FAA’s maintenance technician program.
Pilots for American Eagle, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, ratified a new collective bargaining agreement last month that grants them pay raises and improved retirement benefits over the next four years of a 16-year contract signed in 1997. The new deal grants a pay hike of 4 percent starting on January 1 and another 1 percent starting a year later.
US Airways last month demanded a “forthcoming” agreement on merger terms between employee groups of wholly owned subsidiaries Piedmont and Allegheny Airlines in return for an “orderly” transition from two separate entities into one. The airline issued the ultimatum when it announced its intention to consolidate the operations of the units and transfer Allegheny’s fleet of 41 de Havilland Dash 8-100s to Piedmont’s certificate by March 31.