Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why is air traffic controller a public job?

As long as it is one I'll rail at Republicans who threaten the FAA budget, but thinking about the bigger picture, what is the argument here? It's obviously an enormous public safety responsibility. That seems to justify regulation. But why does the FAA employ them?

Can anyone make an argument?

It's not like I'm just realizing there are government jobs out there that shouldn't be government jobs, this incident just made me think about this particular case this morning. Kate and I drive in to town every day directly under this flight path, and she drives home the same way, including the afternoon this happened. More often than not a plane is climbing to altitude right over our heads as we cross the bridge.

I don't think the fact that they are publicly employed caused this, like some outlets may argue. You'll get this every once in a while regardless of who employs them.

But why are they FAA employees? Is there a valid economic case for this at all? I can't think of one.


  1. Presumably because this would keep them from being pressured to reduce safety to maximize short term profit of a private company.

  2. Who do you think should employ them?

    1. I don't know enough about the airline industry or what is required for the job to say. Presumably either the airport or an airline.

  3. I don't know the answer to this question, but I do think the fact that most ATC's are sourced from and originated from the military might be a factor.


All anonymous comments will be deleted. Consistent pseudonyms are fine.