ATC Hiring Changes Draw Protest

StuSEL

Moderator
Aug 23, 2009
1,014
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You know where.
What are you talking about bro....the hours you spend In FAA APPROVED TOWER SIMULATORS FAA APPROVED RADAR SIMULATORS FAA APPROVED EN ROUTE SIMULATORS
There's a distinct difference between FAA-endorsed and FAA-approved. FAA approval would entail issuing a certificate, certifying instructors, and making rules associated with providing loggable training time. No simulator at any CTI school meets those requirements.
 

gump

Newcomer
Jun 22, 2008
23
0
1
Let's all refrain from ad hominem replies. I'm speaking facts here. In one post you used the word "probably" twice. There's no reason for this to get sophomoric. I, too worked with bad controllers in the Military. But the Military is the first screening process and is very important to civilian ATC. It is the first proving ground. Why not use it? It's silly to not hire those guys first.
 

h4xit

Trusted Contributor
Dec 9, 2010
688
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They are getting hired first... All VRAs have to be hired off a list before any OTS
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
869
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There is only one safe/logical way for the system to work. This is it: The ATCS (Air Traffic Control Specialist) goes through a well-tested, well-proven timeline of events. The progression does not start with a “Hey, I think I’m going to be an Air Traffic Controller.” epiphany. It is more akin to the ATC job telling YOU that you MIGHT be a good fit. The only way to find that out is…the Military. They will put you in a program and let you know if you fit into ATC. I have done this job for a very long time, and can tell you that “under-fire” is the only way. Be damned any school (including any military school). You can have guys run around the room holding up plastic airplanes all day and it doesn’t do anything for anybody.

The Military is the only way for several reasons:
1) The training is way tougher than anything the FAA hands out. This is how the job (and you) finds out if your skin is thick enough. And it better be, or you will get spanked.

By showing up with no experience in a job this demanding, or any job this taxing, is not a good idea. But in the FAA, it can be brutal.
I couldn't disagree with you more. Anyone with a decent amount of intelligence, drive, and work ethic can become good at this job. Evidentially, you haven't been to many tough FAA facilities if you think military ATC training is tougher than the FAA.
 

Wrooster

Junior Member
Jun 22, 2008
130
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I couldn't disagree with you more. Anyone with a decent amount of intelligence, drive, and work ethic can become good at this job. Evidentially, you haven't been to many tough FAA facilities if you think military ATC training is tougher than the FAA.
I couldn't disagree more "anyone with a decent amount of intelligence, drive and work ethic can become good at this job". I have seen way to many college educated guys and gals with a ton of drive and work ethic crumble when it came time to plug in and work live traffic.
 

psykomagician

Junior Member
Jan 10, 2014
114
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CTI-ATCS dates from 1991 officially. Originally 5 schools, expanded to 16 in 1996, then expanded again in 2006, 2008, and 2009. You bought the school's line about an edge in hiring, not taking into consideration the FAA's "black letter" statement: EMPLOYMENT NOT GUARANTEED. Now you have to compete on an even playing ground, with everyone - CTI, former military controllers, and those without any kind of formal ATC-specific experience and education - measured on the same yardstick, on your merits.

You took a risk...and now its time to pay the piper. There was never a guarantee of employment, only a guarantee that you could compete for a position under whatever rules the FAA stipulated in accordance with merit principles.
 

psykomagician

Junior Member
Jan 10, 2014
114
8
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2 paths to becoming a controller? No, actually the FAA consistently described 3 paths - VRA, CTI, and general public. And it always reserved the right to hire none, some or all for any sources it deemed fit.

And when the FAA changed the hiring process, by OPM regulation, the agency had to discard the former inventories from the "old" process. No discretion there for the agency; its a matter of government-wide policy. Read the Delegated Examining Office Handbook on the OPM website. Standard SOP whenever an agency changes hiring criteria.
 

eric86

Junior Member
Sep 4, 2008
112
2
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BX
if military training is so much better and really tests whether you can do it under the gun or not, then why do we see similar washout rates between CTI/OTS and VRA?

Then why are CTIs not going to high level facilities, yet VRAs are?
 

psykomagician

Junior Member
Jan 10, 2014
114
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See Pierce, et al (2013, June) The Utility of the Air Traffic Selection and Training Test Battery in Hiring Graduates of an Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative Program, (DOT/FAA/AM-13/11) available in full text from http://www.faa.gov/data_research/research/med_humanfacs/oamtechreports/2010s/media/201311.pdf) particularly p. 10, Table 12. CTI versus GenPub comparison. The researchers tried very clearly to examine "pure" CTI and no ATC-education/experience (0 knowledge) genpubs (since some CTI grads got hired via GenPub announcements). 55% of 1,270 CTI hires made CPC @ 1st assigned field facility, compared to 52% of gen pub hires. Certainly not 75%/35% as has been wagged about on StuckMic. So if any has better data than this CAMI report, please post a link to it for all to see.
 

psykomagician

Junior Member
Jan 10, 2014
114
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See Pierce, et al (2013, June). The Utility of the Air Traffic Selection and Training Test Battery in Hiring Graduates of an Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative Program available in full-text from
http://www.faa.gov/data_research/research/med_humanfacs/oamtechreports/2010s/2013/
In particular, p. 10, Table 12. CTI 53% made CPC @ 1st facility versus 52% for GenPub. Report doesn't look at VRA. I suppose 53% is slightly better than 52%...
 

spades

What's happening?
Apr 20, 2009
794
10
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Nothing ever changes on this site. This topic has been literally argued for years.
 

Dub

Rookie
Oct 14, 2013
28
2
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19th Floor
i certainly don't think the difference is anywhere near 75% to 25%....but if you examine the statistics you posted more closely....

you can't use 55% to 52%, because those percentage points are taking into account atcs's who are still 'in training'.....which is irrelevant when discussing who passed/failed. the number of the general public still in training (who's fate is undecided) skew the statistic.

you have to look at successfully completed vs. unsuccessful....

CTI success: 702
CTI failure: 206

so 702 of 908 successfully completed....or 77.3%

GP success: 1203
GP failure: 523

so 1203 of 1726 successfully completed....or 69.7%

7.6% difference.

now say you hire 1000 applicants a year. with a 7.6% difference, that's 76 more people who would fail to complete training as an OTS hire compared to CTI. i'm not sure the exact cost per year to train someone, but i imagine between the trainees salary, an RPO, an R side, an instructor....it adds up pretty quick. wasted security clearances, HR logistics time, academy per diem....etc. minimum 100k?

100k per year x 76 failed persons in that year is 7.6 million. it's not gonna solve a government budget crisis, but it's not a hiring wash...as you want it to be.
It doesn't matter and nobody cares. Get yourself hired, pass the academy, and be ready to learn how to run airplanes in real life. I understand you feel wronged but please understand, you are annoying and nobody wants to work in a tiny little room with someone that is annoying. Maybe the CTI program would have been more successful if they required a class called "pleasehelpmeiamthemostannoyingpersonthatspoutsfiguresthatnobodycaresabout 101".
 
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VikAnis

Trusted Member
Apr 23, 2013
478
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N. Cali
It comes down to the individual. Working as an RPO at N90, I've seen CTI hires succeed and I've seen VRAs succeed. I've also seen CTIs shit the bed and VRAs shit the bed. I've seen controllers with many years of radar experience do worse than a CTI student fresh out of the academy. You can all argue about who is more qualified until you're blue in the face but ultimately it comes down to the individual. Just because somebody went to college for 6 years studying law doesn't mean they'll make a great lawyer.

The issue isn't who makes a better controller. The issue is that we were told by our federal government that there are 2 paths to become an air traffic controller. Military or CTI. And many, like myself, followed the CTI path. I agree that VRAs should be considered more qualified, whether or not they actually are, because of the time they dedicated to serving our country. But I don't agree with being thrown into a pool with a bunch of OTS people who 2 months ago thought an air traffic controller waved orange sticks at airplanes. There's no sense of entitlement. I don't think I deserve a job simply because I completed a CTI program. But I do think that the FAA should have, at least, filtered through the remaining VRAs and CTIs before pulling this shit.
^Agreed. There was never a guarantee but I did put in the effort to make myself standout and be given a chance (even though I may NOT be suited for the job). That effort should be recognized.
 

VikAnis

Trusted Member
Apr 23, 2013
478
1
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N. Cali
Where are you pulling these statements from? OTS hires are having better success rates than CTI students across the board. The only reason the FAA even supported the CTI programs was to try and offset some of the costs to train potential controllers. OTS hiring worked in the early 80s and will work better than hiring from CTI programs now.
The FAA page listing the previous requirements appears to have moved and was in fact updated. I printed the requirements and will try to find it and post the scanned copy of the previous FAA requirements. My school's site did say "NO GUARANTEE" and I was completely aware of this. The requirements listed on this site were directly from an FAA page that has been either deleted or updated. This page has moved
Aeronautics and Flight Technology at Sacramento City College

http://wserver.scc.losrios.edu/~aeronautics/test/air-traffic-control/requirements.html
 

Dub

Rookie
Oct 14, 2013
28
2
3
19th Floor
The fact that people are constantly debating the point tells differently.
The fact that people are constantly debating the point is dumb. The individual who I was responding to was throwing out numbers and said that it was a 7.6% chance that a CTI student would be more successful in training than an OTS hire. This might be correct, but that's what is funny. Seven percent difference proves the failure of the program. 100K in student loans for a 7% better chance of getting certified. I'd take my chances.