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FAA Shakes up Management as Part of Air Traffic Control Review

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt announced additional management changes and other actions today as part of the FAA’s comprehensive review of the air traffic control system. Three veteran FAA managers

will be repositioned to assume oversight of critical air traffic roles: 1. Walt Cochran will oversee Terminal Operations, where he will be responsi- ble for all of the Agency's airport towers and TRA- CONS (approach and departure control).

2. Chris Metts will oversee all of the Agency’s En Route and Oceanic operations.

3. Glen Martin will become the Air Traffic Manager at the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center. He is currently the Deputy Air Traffic manager at Chicago Center.

The FAA is also assessing key mid-level management positions to ensure that both technical and leadership expectations are being met. Teams of FAA experts are also examining some of the agency’s


more complex facilities, including Cleveland and New York Centers, in an effort to make certain that operational policies and professional stan- dards are being upheld. “We are continuing to do everything in our power to ensure that our nation’s avia- tion system remains the safest in the world. This is just the beginning of the process to make sure we have the best pos- sible team in place,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The FAA’s focus is safety. These changes ensure that we have the right people in the right places to help us carry out our mission,” said FAA Administrator Babbitt. “I am confident our top-to-bottom review is making our air traffic system even safer.” Secretary LaHood and Administrator Babbitt announced earlier this month that the FAA would place an additional air traffic controller on the midnight shift at air traffic control towers and facil- ities around the country that were staffed with only one con- troller during that time. Three controllers in

Knoxville, Miami and Seattle were fired for sleeping while working an operational posi- tion. These employees have a due process right to respond to these actions.

Additionally, the FAA insti- tuted changes to air traffic con- troller scheduling practices that will allow controllers more time for rest between shifts. The FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) are continuing to work together on additional


changes that will help reduce controller fatigue, including a fatigue education program. On Friday, the FAA also announced the members of an independent review panel that will evaluate the agency’s air traffic control training curricu- lum, qualifications and place- ment process to make sure new controllers are properly pre- pared. The members of the panel are: Michael Barr, University of Southern California Aviation, Safety & Security program; Tim Brady, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University; Garth Koleszar, NATCA; Michael New, United Airlines; and Julia Pounds, FAA. The panel will submit a report to FAA Administrator Babbitt this fall.

The in-depth look at air traffic controller training is part of the FAA – NATCA Call to Action on air traffic control safety and professionalism. Administrator Babbitt, NATCA President Paul Rinaldi and members of their leadership teams have been visiting air traf- fic facilities around the country to reinforce the need for all air traffic personnel to adhere to the highest professional stan- dards.

During the Call to Action,

FAA and NATCA teams have so far visited air traffic personnel and facilities in and around: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus; Dallas–Ft. Worth; Denver; Kansas City; Knoxville; Lincoln; Louisville; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Oklahoma City; Oakland; Omaha; Reno; Sacramento; and Salt Lake City. ◆

Mauna Loa Helicopters Gains DOE Approval for Federal Student Financial Aid

Mauna Loa Helicopters, one of the country’s oldest and largest helicopter pilot training schools, has received authoriza- tion from the U.S. Department of Education to offer Federal Financial Aid to its students. Now a high school graduate can pay for their flight training at MLH with a federal loan just like they would pay for a univer- sity degree. Students who qual- ify for the Parent Plus Loan can borrow up to the full tuition cost plus living expenses for the Professional Pilot Program. As most loan companies in the US have given up funding flight training, many young people across the country have

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