Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crisis in California Air Control Staffing

Air traffic controllers play a vital role in making planes fly and land safely. They ensure the safe operation of commercial and private aircrafts. They also coordinate the proper movements and distance of air traffic.

Without them, the airport as well as the airspace would be in total chaos. Consequently, aviation accidents would be rampant and predictable.

The delicate and crucial operation of airspace traffic could not be left to inexperienced controllers. However, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) seems to face this dilemma.

As LAX loss a dramatic number of air traffic controller to retirement, its facilities now are being controlled by inexperienced trainees.

The US Transportation Department expressed its concern regarding the air traffic controller staffing levels at the Southern and Northern California Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities. These two facilities manage planes arriving and departing California airports.

To bolster California air traffic control staffing, the department suggested variety of improvements. In a 27 page report, the inspector general recommended extensive training of controllers and improving financial incentives as ways of strengthening staffing efficiency.

Plane accidents are mostly caused by human error. If LAX’s ground staffers would continue to be like this, cases of plane crashes or collisions would certainly increase. This matter should be addressed immediately. Otherwise, fatalities and injuries would soar high in numbers.