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FAAST Blast — Accelerating ATC Hiring, Laser Strikes at a Dangerous High, Sharing is Caring

FAAST Blast — Week of February 19 - 25, 2024
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

FAA Moves to Accelerate Air Traffic Controller Hiring by Enhancing College Training Program

The FAA is working to accelerate its training and hiring of air traffic controllers through an Enhanced Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program. The Enhanced AT-CTI program will bolster the current hiring pipeline by allowing the FAA to hire more candidates who can begin facility training immediately upon graduation. 


The FAA is authorizing institutions in the AT-CTI program to provide the same thorough curriculum offered at the FAA Air Traffic Controller Academy. After graduating from one of the eligible schools, new hires can immediately begin localized training at an air traffic facility. These graduates still must pass the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) exam and meet medical and security requirements. For more information, go to www.faa.gov/jobs/students/schools.


The Enhanced AT-CTI program is one of the many actions the FAA is taking to increase the number of controllers and improve training following the release of the National Airspace System Safety Review Team Report. This includes year-round hiring for experienced controllers from the military and private industry, filling every seat at the FAA Academy, and finishing the deployment of upgraded tower simulator systems in 95 facilities by Dec. 2025.


Dangerous Laser Strikes Increase to Highest Numbers

Dangerous laser strikes topped all previous records in 2023. The FAA received 13,304 reports from pilots last year, a 41% increase over 2022.


Shining a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety threat. Many types of high-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots, many of whom are flying airplanes with hundreds of passengers. Pilots have reported 313 injuries since the FAA began recording data on laser strikes in 2010.


The FAA strongly encourages the public to report laser strikes to the FAA and local law enforcement agencies at faa.gov/aircraft/safety/report/laserinfo.


Learn more about the dangers of lasers by visiting faa.gov/about/initiatives/lasers and by reading the article “Blinded By the Light” here: medium.com/faa/blinded-by-the-light-4879e10fe619.  

How Voluntary Reporting Programs Benefit Everyone

Voluntary reporting programs recognize the value of a transparent exchange of safety-related information and make the general benefits available to all participants in the National Airspace System (NAS). Familiarize yourself with these programs and learn how they protect you and benefit the NAS in the article “Sharing is Caring” at medium.com/faa/sharing-is-caring-f609d107df0e in the Jan/Feb 2024 issue of the FAA Safety Briefing. See the entire Compliance Program-themed issue at www.faa.gov/safety_briefing.


Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors: www.faa.gov/safety_briefing
Address questions or comments to: [email protected]
Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter): @FAASafetyBrief or https://twitter.com/FAASafetyBrief

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