FAA Fires Controllers at New York TRACON
The FAA might be looking to hire thousands of new air traffic controllers, but that's not stopping the agency from firing 15 air traffic controllers at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) because of discrepancies in their medical records. One controller already has been told he will be fired, and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) said the FAA told them 14 others will be notified soon, Newsday reported Monday. "The allegations are that some controllers who have made a worker's compensation claim for leave with pay after a stressful event are not reporting the claim on their ... medical forms," the FAA said in a statement to Newsday. NATCA said the disability claims are well-documented, and the discrepancies the FAA found in medical forms are just a technicality. Several other facilities are also being investigated, the FAA said. Nearly half of the 232 employees at the New York TRACON have been out on disability after an error in the past decade, union officials told Newsday. NATCA told Newsday the FAA's actions are meant to discourage controllers from taking the paid leave they are entitled to for dealing with trauma after making a mistake on the job.