...As NATCA Calls For Action Now...

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Ruth Marlin, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, told the panel that raising the retirement age will not solve the problem -- it's time now to start hiring at least 1,000 new controllers. The FAA's plan to collect more data before taking action will only make things worse, she said. "We can do yet another round of studies and reports but the answer is plainly in front of all of us," Marlin said. "The FAA must immediately begin hiring and training the next generation of air traffic controllers to prepare for the inevitable shortage. And Congress must provide the FAA with resources to do so." Marlin said that even if waivers were made available to allow controllers to work beyond age 56, few would likely choose to do so.