Will ATC "Incentive Pay" Hurt GA?
The contract extension that recently took effect between the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) includes a change that for the first time links pay to performance. The incentive-pay provision sets as its goals reductions in runway incursions and controller errors, and increased arrival efficiency rates and on-time performance for airlines. If the targets are not met, the controllers won't see their raises. Does this mean that more resources will be leaning toward expediting airline traffic, to the detriment of general aviation? Not according to NATCA President John Carr. "Air traffic control is about safe, orderly and expeditious flight, in that order, and nothing in this contract changes that," he told AVweb on Tuesday. "When I'm landing 105 planes an hour, I don't care what type of aircraft it is, how many people are on board or how many engines are on the plane. I just land them. ... When we're busy, we don't have time to care who it is up there." The incentives are minor, in any case, according to a story in Sunday's Washington Post. An average controller, earning a base pay of about $100,000, would lose a potential $800 if none of the goals are met.