The FAA wants to hire 4,300 air traffic controllers in the next five years and those interested have until the end of the day Aug. 2 to get an application in. Every year the agency accepts ATC applications for just a few days. The agency now has more than 14,000 controllers but many are nearing retirement age and there’s some urgency in the latest round of hiring. Senior leadership at the FAA issued statements encouraging anyone interested to apply. “Being an air traffic controller is not only important, but it’s also an interesting and dynamic career,” the chief operating officer of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, Teri Bristol, said.
The agency also launched a major recruitment push for women, minorities and people from underrepresented communities to apply. The social media and outreach blitz began a week before the application window opened. The FAA has been trying to diversify the population of controllers for more than a decade and this year it created a toolkit for organizations representing those groups to illustrate the opportunities. “Having individuals with diverse backgrounds helps us find ways to continue enhancing aviation safety and efficiency,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. “I hope more people will pursue the opportunity to become an air traffic controller as a result of this effort.”