...Other Countries Look To U.S....

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The potential for air traffic controller shortages is a seemingly world-wide problem. The Czech Republic is grappling with manpower issues and even India, with just 1,000 controllers in a country of more than one billion people, is predicting dire consequences if hiring isn't speeded up, according to the Times of India. The Airports Authority of India (AAI). "We're filling up all vacant posts and things will be sorted out," AAI spokesman Praful Patel told the Times. Meanwhile, the paper alleges that two controllers are in charge of up to 15 major air routes at a time, far more than those in other countries must contend with. While it might surprise some on this side of the world, the FAA's controller hiring plan (11,000 controllers over the next 10 years) is held out as a shining example of how to tackle the issue. "Unlike AAI, [the FAA] is better prepared," the newspaper reported. "This plan, says FAA, is their blueprint to put the controllers in the right place at the right time. Lessons to be [learned]?" the paper wondered. Depends on who you ask....