An inadequate number of air traffic controllers might cause airline delays

The United States is facing a shortage of air traffic controllers. As of 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is about 19 percent short of its staffing level goals for air traffic controllers. This shortage could lead to increased airline delays. Air traffic controllers are responsible for managing the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in the air and on the ground. They use radar and other technology to track aircraft and ensure that they do not collide. They also issue instructions to pilots on how to safely navigate their aircraft.

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The FAA has been working to hire more air traffic controllers, but the process is slow. It takes about two years to train a new air traffic controller. The FAA also faces competition from other industries, such as the military and the airline industry, for qualified candidates. The air traffic controller shortage is already having an impact on airline delays. In 2022, the FAA attributed about 10 percent of all airline delays to air traffic control staffing issues. This number is expected to increase as the shortage worsens.


There are a number of things that can be done to address the air traffic controller shortage. The FAA can increase its hiring efforts, offer higher salaries and benefits, and make the job more attractive to potential candidates. The FAA can also work with the airline industry to develop new technologies that can help to reduce the workload on air traffic controllers.

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The air traffic controller shortage is a serious problem that could have a significant impact on airline delays. The FAA and the airline industry need to work together to address this problem and ensure the safe and efficient movement of air traffic in the United States.

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