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.
AirCare Solutions Group of Olympia, Wash., announced last month at the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference it will begin offering a new flight attendant service training module with its regularly scheduled Facts crewmember training classes.
Responding to customer demand for additional capacity, Stevens Aviation has added a 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift to the current 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. shift at its Donaldson Center maintenance facility in Greenville, S.C. Both shifts are Monday through Saturday and the company has added four maintenance employees.
While general aviation interests hailed the tax law that extended the deadline for the 50-percent accelerated bonus-depreciation allowance for business aircraft, the law also contains a provision that severely limits expenses that a company may deduct when employees use an employer-provided aircraft for personal travel.
On December 23 NetJets pilots overwhelmingly elected the five-member master executive council (MEC) slate known as Strong Union. Eighty-nine percent of the more than 1,900-strong unionized fractional pilot workforce supported the candidates and delivered a vote of no confidence to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 284.
Metalworkers at Embraer’s assembly plant in São Jose dos Campos, Brazil, ended their threats of a strike last month when they agreed to accept a 17.35-percent wage hike retroactive to November 1. In late November roughly 4,000 morning-shift workers voted to enter strike mode after rejecting an offer of a 16.15-percent increase. At the time the workers demanded a 20-percent raise and a reduction in working hours from 43 to 40 hours per week.
Hoping to stave off a shortage of air traffic controllers caused by an expected wave of retirements, the FAA intends to hire 12,500 new controllers during the next 10 years and improve training so that candidates can become fully certified professional controllers more quickly.
As it searches for 12,500 new air traffic controllers, the FAA extended the eligibility period for college students with training in ATC to become controllers. Previously, graduates of the agency’s Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) could be hired on an expedited basis only within two years of graduation.
The four major fractional aircraft operators hired 482 pilots last year compared with 198 in 2003, bringing the total roster of fractional pilots to 3,649 last year, according to aviation hiring firm AIR in Atlanta.