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North Texas Air Controllers Declare Staffing Emergency

By Shelley Kofler

Dallas – Local members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association are declaring a staffing emergency at the Fort Worth radar facility that serves North Texas. They say more than 20 area airports including DFW and Love Field could experience flight delays because too few experienced controllers are on the job.

At a press conference scheudled for Wednesday controllers will also claim that the safety of passengers flying in and out of North Texas is in jeopardy.

The controllers union has declared similar staffing emergencies in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and elsewhere.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has responded by saying it has added more controllers than goals required and the skies are safe.

A North Texas spokesman for the union says sheer numbers won't account for the loss of experienced controllers who want the FAA to reopen their contract and include language that promises improved staffing.