FAA Has Trouble Successfully Firing Air Traffic Controllers

When you’re an Air Traffic Controller who gets fired, there’s a 40 percent chance you’ll manage to keep your job or retire on your own terms. The Federal Aviation Administration has trouble ridding itself of workers it accuses of screwing up, including two-thirds of those it tries to fire for using drugs or alcohol on the job.

Bloomberg examined FAA data it acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request to come up with the figures. It discovered a controller who was found partially responsible for a fatal 2009 collision between a helicopter and single-engine plane is still working following a suspension, transfer and demotion.

Of three controllers who were recently caught sleeping on the job, one was allowed to retire and another received a lesser penalty after facing termination.

‘You’re Fired’ Doesn’t Mean Fired to Four of 10 Air Controllers [Bloomberg]