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.
Although the FAA needs to hire 11,800 new controllers through Fiscal Year 2015 to replace retirees and other vacancies, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) noted the agency’s own FAA Administrator’s Fact Book (a quarterly publication) reports that the overall total number of controllers dropped from 14,227 at the end of FY2005 to 14,206 in FY2006.
Atlanta-based aviation placement company AIR projects that the four major fractional aircraft ownership companies will hire at least 1,000 pilots this year, more than double the 482 hired last year, but fewer than the record 1,363 hired in 2000. The last year in which the fractionals hired more than 1,000 pilots was 2001, according to AIR. NetJets, the largest fractional operator, is expected to hire more than a third of the projected total.