FAA offers bonus to keep veteran air traffic controllers

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Retirements of veteran air traffic controllers have surged beyond government expectations since the Bush administration imposed a contract on their union on Labor Day last year, new data shows.

The Federal Aviation Administration proclaims all is well with its work force. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association warns that controllers are overworked in major centers.

A veteran force of controllers is being replaced by lower-paid, less experienced young controllers. That long-expected transformation is occurring faster than the government anticipated.

The Associated Press learned that the FAA recently considered offering a cash bonus of 25 percent of one year’s pay to top-rated veteran controllers who delay retirement two years.

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