Bill To Cut ATC Test Funding

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An amendment to a House transportation and housing appropriations bill would cut funding for the controversial biological questionnaire used by the FAA to pre-screen candidates for air traffic control training. In proposing the amendment, Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., said the FAA needs to stop using that part of the controller hiring process in light of allegations that at least one FAA employee supplied answers to a group of candidates before they took the questionnaire. “Given the disturbing revelations of cheating, the FAA’s Bio Q test is tainted and should no longer be used in the air traffic control hiring process,” Hultgren said in proposing the amendment, which was passed by the House last week. The FAA has yet to publicly acknowledge the cheating allegations and did not respond to our request for comment Sunday.

The amendment came a week after Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo and 14 other members of Congress sent FAA Administrator Michael Huerta a letter in late May giving him until June 26 to address the allegations. The allegations came to light in a Fox Business News investigation in which a recording of a voice message from a senior FAA employee giving an unspecified number of controller candidates explicit instructions on how to fill out the questionnaire was played. The employee in question is a senior official of the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees, whose stated goal is to increase the number of minority and female workers in the FAA. The woman who recorded the conversation was a member of the NBCFAE but it’s not clear if all who received the message were members of the organization.

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