Atlanta Tracon - A80

sailor_pianist

Trusted Member
Jan 10, 2010
359
0
16
Nowhere
I have no clue why we aren't added to the C90/N90 priority release MOU and why we don't have a continuous open paid move bid. We had one close in January 2016 (later cancelled by the agency) in which it had 80+ bidders and 50+ of them were from 9s and higher! So people want to potentially come here, but they aren't coming and paying for their own move. I think the agency's response to staffing at A80, C90, and N90 is bordering on complete and total negligence. Here's another stat for you... The entire A80 hub region's budget for overtime in 2017 is 3.6 million dollars with 3.5 million slated for A80...
RobertB, when I toured A80 with my CTI school back in 2012, the energy was fundamentally different than ZTL. At the time, we just assumed people were not friendly since none of the controllers wanted to talk to us (we also assumed racism (no, I'm not joking), since we were all African-American and didn't see any minority controllers), now I see it was because you were completely stressed out and over-worked. The center controllers talked with us, taught us and laughed with us. It was a diverse working environment, and I was so enthralled with the energy that I knew ZTL was where I wanted to be ( but then again they don't have a staffing issue). I'd love to be able to tell you that one day I'd be able to relieve you, since not only do I live in Georgia and want to get back here, but also want to work radar (have a terminal TOL). But, it seems like choosing A80 even for higher-level experienced controllers is a death sentence 84% of the time.

Also, and I'm not being funny, how many people would honestly want to live in PeachTree City when they find out you have to drive a golf cart everywhere? Lol
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
868
6
18
The difference is..you live in ATL, while we live in Long Island. Nobody in the right mind wants to come here. Given a choice between A80 and N90, pretty much everyone would pick to go there.
Jax, I get the cost of living difference which is why you guys should be getting CIP and a much higher locality rate, but it doesn't negate the fact that nothing is being done to staff all three of the above listed facilities. Hell, C90 and N90 have been removed from the facility priority staffing worksheet. What does that tell me? The agency and union have given up on recognizing the fact that there is a staffing issue at those two facilities. The NCEPT group will say,"...we took them off because they have paid move ERR bids..." or some crap like that. The simple fact is that nothing is being done. The agency should be striving to do everything possible to staff these three facilities. How they aren't pushing to move N90 off Long Island is beyond me. Move it to Poughkeepsie or somewhere slightly more upstate and you'll have a significant amount of bidders. Politicians either want on time flights or they want highly paid (relative to average pay around the country not local area) jobs. They can't have either unless they're willing to separate New York and Chicago significantly with separate pay bands or something like that.
 

airkiwi

Junior Member
Sep 28, 2008
91
8
8
Not to take away from the A80 vs N90 spat...

Why do people from A80 (including current controllers, washouts, and FLMs) say that one of the preeminent issues is that A80 "just has their way of doing things". And not in a sense of 7110.65 things, but in the training program and what they expect their CPCs to be like.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
868
6
18
Not to take away from the A80 vs N90 spat...

Why do people from A80 (including current controllers, washouts, and FLMs) say that one of the preeminent issues is that A80 "just has their way of doing things". And not in a sense of 7110.65 things, but in the training program and what they expect their CPCs to be like.
I have no idea what you're talking about at all in regards to "...we just have our own way to do things..." You hear "...the A80 way..." all the time, but it is simply guidelines for how to move traffic constantly as efficient as possible. (Example: don't stack the downwind if you have bases on the north side in a TRIP operation as your final can run out of space really quickly.) The mindset here and I'm sure at C90 and N90 is that we don't have the resources or time to train someone up to the traffic volume. When you transfer here, you better have a really good understanding of how to move airplanes to have a realistic chance of being successful.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
868
6
18
RobertB, when I toured A80 with my CTI school back in 2012, the energy was fundamentally different than ZTL. At the time, we just assumed people were not friendly since none of the controllers wanted to talk to us (we also assumed racism (no, I'm not joking), since we were all African-American and didn't see any minority controllers), now I see it was because you were completely stressed out and over-worked. The center controllers talked with us, taught us and laughed with us. It was a diverse working environment, and I was so enthralled with the energy that I knew ZTL was where I wanted to be ( but then again they don't have a staffing issue). I'd love to be able to tell you that one day I'd be able to relieve you, since not only do I live in Georgia and want to get back here, but also want to work radar (have a terminal TOL). But, it seems like choosing A80 even for higher-level experienced controllers is a death sentence 84% of the time.

Also, and I'm not being funny, how many people would honestly want to live in PeachTree City when they find out you have to drive a golf cart everywhere? Lol
We are a highly fatigued, critically staffed facility. Sorry you didn't feel as welcome as at ZTL, but we don't just issue the altimeter all day long between our ping pong breaks! Lol! Our controller staffing is made up of roughly 20-25% females and minorities. Our OMs are 50% females and minorities. Depending on the time of the week and day, it would determine what the makeup was of the workforce. You have to think, it has mostly been a white male dominated workforce until relatively recently. The younger people (Tue/Wed, Wed/Thurs, etc) are significantly more diverse, but you would have only really seen those people on the weekend when you probably didn't tour. We don't care if you're white, black, brown, or even blue, but you better be able to move airplanes very well to make it here. If you want to come here, start small, bid up, get more experience, and then transfer here after you have 8-10 years of progressively busier radar experience. We've increased the training hours significantly which has reduced our washout rates, but it is still a difficult place to train and be successful.
 

airkiwi

Junior Member
Sep 28, 2008
91
8
8
I have no idea what you're talking about at all in regards to "...we just have our own way to do things..." You hear "...the A80 way..." all the time, but it is simply guidelines for how to move traffic constantly as efficient as possible. (Example: don't stack the downwind if you have bases on the north side in a TRIP operation as your final can run out of space really quickly.) The mindset here and I'm sure at C90 and N90 is that we don't have the resources or time to train someone up to the traffic volume. When you transfer here, you better have a really good understanding of how to move airplanes to have a realistic chance of being successful.
What I suggested is not some random comment - it's the reputation that A80 has. I had drinks with one of your FLMs not too long ago who said exactly what I was referencing above; the controllers there (and I'm guessing here) have created habits and techniques that if you don't apply them as your trainer, then the washout process begins. Yes - you want people that can move volume, but are you willing to accept them when they get the job done not in the mold of the OJTI team.

As a CPC at a 12 TRACON, reading your posts quells any interest I'd have in going to A80. I can appreciate the candor but there's more going on there than just short staffing.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
868
6
18
What I suggested is not some random comment - it's the reputation that A80 has. I had drinks with one of your FLMs not too long ago who said exactly what I was referencing above; the controllers there (and I'm guessing here) have created habits and techniques that if you don't apply them as your trainer, then the washout process begins. Yes - you want people that can move volume, but are you willing to accept them when they get the job done not in the mold of the OJTI team.

As a CPC at a 12 TRACON, reading your posts quells any interest I'd have in going to A80. I can appreciate the candor but there's more going on there than just short staffing.
If you're listening to a supervisor tell you about this place, you're getting misinformation. First off, management are the ones certifying people here. It doesn't matter if a trainee has a recommendation to continue training/certify or get skill enhancement from their trainers. The sups do what they want when it comes to training. Every single training failure here, especially over the last five years, has been given every opportunity to certify. If they didn't certify, it was because of their inability to work traffic at this level, nothing more and nothing less. If you're already at a level 12 TRACON, what motivation would you even have to move here especially without move money? We've had all levels of controllers wash from here (level 5s and all the way up to level 12s). Not pointed at you specifically, but just because you have a high level certification, doesn't mean you can move traffic (Examples: Islip, Richmond, Manchester, etc.) Dallas and Chicago are the only two TRACONs who worked more aircraft per CPCs in 2016 than here. Why would you come here to work harder for no financial incentive?!?
 
Last edited:

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
If you're listening to a supervisor tell you about this place, you're getting misinformation. First off, management are the ones certifying people here. It doesn't matter if a trainee has a recommendation to continue training/certify or get skill enhancement from their trainers. The sups do what they want when it comes to training. Every single training failure here, especially over the last five years, has been given every opportunity to certify. If they didn't certify, it was because of their inability to work traffic at this level, nothing more and nothing less. If you're already at a level 12 TRACON, what motivation would you even have to move here especially without move money? We've had all levels of controllers wash from here (level 5s and all the way up to level 12s). Not pointed at you specifically, but just because you have a high level certification, doesn't mean you can move traffic (Examples: Islip, Richmond, Manchester, etc.) Dallas and Chicago are the only two TRACONs who worked more aircraft per CPCs in 2016 than here. Why would you come here to work harder for no financial incentive?!?
ive thought about it just to get off along Island lol
 

airkiwi

Junior Member
Sep 28, 2008
91
8
8
If you're listening to a supervisor tell you about this place, you're getting misinformation. First off, management are the ones certifying people here. It doesn't matter if a trainee has a recommendation to continue training/certify or get skill enhancement from their trainers. The sups do what they want when it comes to training. Every single training failure here, especially over the last five years, has been given every opportunity to certify. If they didn't certify, it was because of their inability to work traffic at this level, nothing more and nothing less. If you're already at a level 12 TRACON, what motivation would you even have to move here especially without move money? We've had all levels of controllers wash from here (level 5s and all the way up to level 12s). Not pointed at you specifically, but just because you have a high level certification, doesn't mean you can move traffic (Examples: Islip, Richmond, Manchester, etc.) Dallas and Chicago are the only two TRACONs who worked more aircraft per CPCs in 2016 than here. Why would you come here to work harder for no financial incentive?!?
1) The FLM had no motivation to lie or mislead me, and their statement as I mentioned was supported by others that had been through there. Fine - you disagree.
2) There's more motivation to move off of a level 12 than just money. Maybe I'm bored. Maybe I don't love where I live currently. That's a very short-sighted comment to make.
3) Thee is definitely a chance that A80 has a systemic training program problem that other severely short-staffed facilities have. You can speak to that, or you can pretend that what I'm talking about is fiction and yell and scream about how NCEPT and the FAA is screwing you.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
868
6
18
1) The FLM had no motivation to lie or mislead me, and their statement as I mentioned was supported by others that had been through there. Fine - you disagree.
2) There's more motivation to move off of a level 12 than just money. Maybe I'm bored. Maybe I don't love where I live currently. That's a very short-sighted comment to make.
3) Thee is definitely a chance that A80 has a systemic training program problem that other severely short-staffed facilities have. You can speak to that, or you can pretend that what I'm talking about is fiction and yell and scream about how NCEPT and the FAA is screwing you.
1) So the person responsible for a trainee's training plan aka supervisor thinks people are unsuccessful here because their trainers teach their own way of working traffic and if the trainee can't do it that way, the trainers try to wash them out?!? If you believe things coming from the mouths of someone in management, especially over controllers, you're mental. I wouldn't take any washout's opinion on the matter either. I've yet to see anyone washout that wasn't given the absolute maximum amount of time to certify (Example: M03 transfer washed on final after 380 hours training). Yet, people will say anything (racial, age discrimination, etc when they get backed into a corner during a TRB). Some people will throw anyone under the bus when they're told it is their ability keeping them from certifying.
2) Most people move for money and aren't going to move say from NCT, SCT, etc without move money to help pay their bills of uprooting a family and moving them potentially across the country. It isn't shortsighted at all because if you, or others, were bored or even hated where you live, then you'd have ERRs in to move to A80. Amazing how we can put out a bid January 2016 (that gets cancelled by the agency) and have 80+ people on it, but less than 5 ERRs, in the last year, on file, with all 5 of those receiving moves here... HMMM seems like money talks in regards to mutual moves from a equal level facility.
3) Seeing how you've never been here, it is a ridiculous statement for you to think our trainers aren't doing everything possible to get people certified. You do realize the overwhelming majority of controllers are non volunteers for OT yet we are and have been for years assigned to work mandatory six day work weeks?!? Bet you didn't hear that from your sup discussion, when they are rarely working OT, because they're 12/14 staffed and we just use CICs to give them breaks...

Answer me these questions...
How come we are the 40th highest priority facility to staff?
How come C90 and N90 were removed from the priority list for the NCEPT?
How come management is slow rolling washouts (who have certified on a position or two) to use them for coverage months after they e washed out?
How come we don't have a paid bid move out to encourage people to move here, even though you don't think money is a good encouragement for people considering moving because they're bored or hate where they live?
What facility do you work out and how are your staffing conditions and quality of CPCs?
 

NovemberEcho

Epic Member
Dec 8, 2010
4,388
68
48
Long Island
"How come we are the 40th highest priority facility to staff?
How come C90 and N90 were removed from the priority list for the NCEPT?
How come management is slow rolling washouts (who have certified on a position or two) to use them for coverage months after they e washed out?
How come we don't have a paid bid move out to encourage people to move here, even though you don't think money is a good encouragement for people considering moving because they're bored or hate where they live?
What facility do you work out and how are your staffing conditions and quality of CPCs?"

because the FAA wants us to burn to make the case for privatization.
 

airkiwi

Junior Member
Sep 28, 2008
91
8
8
1) So the person responsible for a trainee's training plan aka supervisor thinks people are unsuccessful here because their trainers teach their own way of working traffic and if the trainee can't do it that way, the trainers try to wash them out?!? If you believe things coming from the mouths of someone in management, especially over controllers, you're mental. I wouldn't take any washout's opinion on the matter either. I've yet to see anyone washout that wasn't given the absolute maximum amount of time to certify (Example: M03 transfer washed on final after 380 hours training). Yet, people will say anything (racial, age discrimination, etc when they get backed into a corner during a TRB). Some people will throw anyone under the bus when they're told it is their ability keeping them from certifying.
2) Most people move for money and aren't going to move say from NCT, SCT, etc without move money to help pay their bills of uprooting a family and moving them potentially across the country. It isn't shortsighted at all because if you, or others, were bored or even hated where you live, then you'd have ERRs in to move to A80. Amazing how we can put out a bid January 2016 (that gets cancelled by the agency) and have 80+ people on it, but less than 5 ERRs, in the last year, on file, with all 5 of those receiving moves here... HMMM seems like money talks in regards to mutual moves from a equal level facility.
3) Seeing how you've never been here, it is a ridiculous statement for you to think our trainers aren't doing everything possible to get people certified. You do realize the overwhelming majority of controllers are non volunteers for OT yet we are and have been for years assigned to work mandatory six day work weeks?!? Bet you didn't hear that from your sup discussion, when they are rarely working OT, because they're 12/14 staffed and we just use CICs to give them breaks...

Answer me these questions...
How come we are the 40th highest priority facility to staff?
How come C90 and N90 were removed from the priority list for the NCEPT?
How come management is slow rolling washouts (who have certified on a position or two) to use them for coverage months after they e washed out?
How come we don't have a paid bid move out to encourage people to move here, even though you don't think money is a good encouragement for people considering moving because they're bored or hate where they live?
What facility do you work out and how are your staffing conditions and quality of CPCs?
Those are all such fantastic questions, which I have no interest in answering because they don't speak to what I initially brought up.

You may want to take a step back and think about how your angry typing is perceived by controllers that troll this site. I get that you think a paid move solves your staffing issue (btw - it won't!) but objectively reading these posts paints a terrible picture of what working there could be like.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
868
6
18
Those are all such fantastic questions, which I have no interest in answering because they don't speak to what I initially brought up.

You may want to take a step back and think about how your angry typing is perceived by controllers that troll this site. I get that you think a paid move solves your staffing issue (btw - it won't!) but objectively reading these posts paints a terrible picture of what working there could be like.
It's not angry typing. It's just that I can't take you seriously if your only opinion of this place is based on talking a supervisor and former trainees. A paid move coupled with a priority release policy (added to C90/N90 release MOU) would absolutely solve our staffing issue in a timely manner. It's amazing how people from JAX, S56, PCT, D10, PBI, M98, P50, D21, SCT, etc. have all certified and the overwhelming majority of those certified controllers received paid moves to come here... The morale amongst the controllers here is great, you work a ton of airplanes, there is plenty to do in the local area, you're in a relatively cheap pet of the country, and nice weather almost year round. The bad part is being assigned mandatory overtime every single week.
 

SayAgain3

Trusted Member
Feb 13, 2017
359
4
18
Those are all such fantastic questions, which I have no interest in answering because they don't speak to what I initially brought up.

You may want to take a step back and think about how your angry typing is perceived by controllers that troll this site. I get that you think a paid move solves your staffing issue (btw - it won't!) but objectively reading these posts paints a terrible picture of what working there could be like.
Outside looking in, RobertB has been great in responding to you, my respect for him and A80 has gone up tremendously. You, on the other hand, don't come off well at all...
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
1,563
21
38
I was looking through placement lists, saw the Casper person is showing up in a couple weeks to A80.