FAA Plans To Consolidate Service Area Offices

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The FAA currently maintains nine Air Traffic Organization (ATO) Service Area offices, located in each of the FAA regional offices, but plans to consolidate them into just three regional sites in 2006. "The decision to restructure the Service Area offices was made to reduce overhead positions and operating costs, and eliminate redundancies," the FAA said in its location study report, which it recently posted online. "Additionally, the decision to restructure focused on improving the efficiency of operations and effectiveness of service." The report finds that Atlanta, Seattle, and Fort Worth, Texas, would be the best sites for the three consolidated offices, and the changes would save the FAA about $40 million over 10 years. One FAA worker told AVweb that the changes would not serve customers well. A high percentage of the more experienced personnel will not be willing to relocate, he said, resulting in a "brain drain" that will make it harder for the aviation community to get the help they need. The ATO Service Area offices provide management support for En Route, Terminal, Technical Operations, System Operations, and Flight Services facilities within their designated service area.