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Author Topic: FAA ATC Hiring  (Read 7623 times)
w0x0f
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« on: May 22, 2015, 08:03:31 PM »

Surprised no one has posted this yet.  This report should shake things up.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/05/20/trouble-in-skies/
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jermscentral
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 08:50:40 PM »

I'll bite.

As a trainer of both CTI and non-CTI developmentals in the tower environment, I can't say anything good about this article. The implication is that CTI grads are the best and most qualified candidates to become air traffic controllers, which is simply not true. Sure, they've done simulator training and took courses, but what reporters don't understand is that the ability to work live traffic is an ability, not something that can be taught. Think of it like professional athletes. Some people can train their whole lives and play on varsity teams, but they'll never play for the pros because they just don't have the natural talent/ability.

The article says that some students were given the "answers" to the BQ. No one has been told what the correct answers are to that test. It's based on some kind of scientific research that we don't know a whole lot about, and it was recently revised based on how actual controllers responded to the same types of questions. As it is, someone had already taken screenshots of the questions and posted them on StuckMic, so it's nothing new. The BQ doesn't help people get jobs with the FAA; it's merely the first qualifier in the application process. You can still be disqualified at any point based on your application, failing a security/background check, failing the AT-SAT, failing the MMPI (the REAL biographical questionnaire that'll make you want to shoot yourself), or even bombing an interview; then there's washing out at OKC or even failing at your facility.

The ones complaining are the ones that believed these CTI schools when they were told that they were guaranteed a job if they paid lots of money and got a degree in the program, regardless of their abilities upon graduating. "And until last year, the FAA WEB page advised people like Douglas that the CTI program was the way to become an air traffic controller." No, it was listed as one of the ways to become an air traffic controller. The site has contended since (at least) 2008 that the FAA has multiple hiring sources, and they can determine at any time which method of hiring is used. Sure, preference used to be given to CTI grads, but that was when there wasn't a hiring spree where multiple types of candidats were requested. Ask any OG controller how it was as late as the 90s, when they were put through "the screen" in OKC where they were sat in an auditorium and told to look to their right and left; that two of the three of you would wash out before you ever left Oklahoma. With the retirement spree that started due to the post-PATCO hires hitting age 56, the FAA needed lots more candidates than what the CTI program could adequately provide. Off-the-street hiring was brought back (this was not the first time OTS hiring was used), and many people were found to be qualified than just those that went through a CTI school.

In the new off-the-street application process, college degrees and military experience weren't thrown out, as the article states. All work experience and education counts toward hiring. The FAA did multiple job bids, including one for CTO license holders and previous controllers with at least 1 year of experience, and this was simply another bid that also allowed the general public to apply. "CTI advocates say CTI graduates are more likely to achieve certified professional controller (CPC) status." Well, duh, of course a CTI school will say their program is successful.

tl;dr - Kids that paid for a CTI degree were promised by a school that they'd be hired as ATCs if they graduated. The FAA never promised that, and now the entitled kids are wanting to get a class-action lawsuit against the FAA for believing the wrong thing.
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STL ATC
ridejumpfly
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 03:46:27 PM »

^^Well said!
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w0x0f
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2015, 10:00:14 AM »

A statement from NATCA

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/05/29/natl-air-traffic-controllers-assn-demands-faa-investigation/
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FLLflyboy
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 01:44:37 PM »

I know this is an old topic but I'll chime in. I agree with what was said previously. I remember going through CTI school and having the moon promised to me. I already had a degree so I knew that it was like any other college program in the sense that NO job is guaranteed just because you have a degree. The fault lies with both the CTI schools for promising everything to the students and the students themselves for believing the BS that goes with it. The school is in it to make money, first and foremost. By the time the CTI student gets hired and attends OKC, most of what they learned had already been forgotten so are they really more qualified than the dude that gets picked up OTS?

The alleged "cheating" that occurred for the BQ is, like everything else in the media, blown completely out of proportion. These are questions that, as stated before, could be readily found on sites like StuckMic, yet they focus on one individual and make it a racial issue. If these allegations turn out to be true, then discipline accordingly, but there is no evidence that this occurred and the girl they questioned about it "insists" she didn't cheat on the BQ, despite having the answers sent to her. The BQ is just one of many layers before being extended a job offer. If by some miracle an applicant passes all these barriers and makes it to OKC, they still have to pass the Academy in order to make it to their facility. The facility is where the real test begins and we will very quickly know whether you will certify or wash out.

While the FAA could have done a better job in opening up the hiring pool to the general public while at the same time affording CTI students to apply for a separate bid, though not a perfect process, this whole thing had a mountain made out of a molehill.
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