FAA, Controllers Agree On Safety Protocol

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The FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association announced on Monday that they will work together to implement a new safety plan. The Air Traffic Safety Action Program is designed to "foster a voluntary, cooperative, non-punitive environment for the open reporting of safety-of-flight concerns by employees of the FAA," according to a joint FAA/NATCA news release. "Creating an atmosphere where controllers and their managers can identify, report and correct safety issues will go a long way in helping us further improve our safety record," said acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell. On Tuesday, the FAA released a new controller-hiring plan, and said its current plan is on track. The agency hired more than 1,800 controllers last year and expects to hire nearly 1,900 in fiscal year 2008.

The FAA also launched a new Web site that aims to help recruit new controllers. "FAA Air Traffic Controller jobs are rewarding and the pay is good," the Web site reads. Starting pay for trainees is $17,046, and $33,100 for the first assignment to a facility.