...PATCO Says "I Told You So"
Then there are some who say that there is no shortage of controllers -- just a shortage of will (and/or money) to hire them. Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization Inc. (PATCO) President Ron Taylor pointed out that when then-President Clinton lifted the ban against hiring controllers fired in 1981 by then-President Reagan (thus precipitating the current situation) more than 5,000 of the fired controllers applied to get their jobs back. Taylor said 846 were actually hired. Some PATCO members are trying to get the courts to force the FAA to rehire them. Taylor joined Carr in criticizing the FAA for dragging its feet in hiring new controllers. "This latest scramble to hire desperately needed controllers only shows that this agency has been out of control for 23 years," Taylor said. The FAA's Martin noted that previously appointed (read Democrat) administrators knew the problem was coming years ago but did nothing: "Two years into her mandate, this administrator has taken action to address this problem." And three years from now (it's a ten-year plan, remember) someone else will have the job. Stay tuned.