Hultgren to FAA Administrator: Address Control Tower Safety Now

Washington, DC — U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) called on FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who today plans to visit the crippled FAA facility in Aurora, Illinois, to address his agency’s new hiring procedures for air traffic controllers which puts the safety of American airline passengers at risk. Along with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, he has refused to give any answers to inquiries from Rep. Hultgren, the Illinois delegation or other Members of Congress about the new, obscure and illogical hiring practices.

“I am glad Administrator Huerta and the FAA are taking the incident at the FAA facility in Aurora seriously. But I am disappointed he and Secretary Foxx have ignored repeated requests from me and other Members of Congress for answers about the FAA’s new hiring procedures,” said Rep. Hultgren. “I believe the new procedures jeopardize airline safety and risk putting lesser qualified candidates into our towers. Many qualified applicants have been rejected from the process by an illogical personality test which asked such irrelevant questions as whether you played a high school sport. Just because someone was a star athlete in high school doesn’t mean they have the skills or training for us to trust them in our towers.

“I would hope that with the introduction of my legislation, the SAFE TOWERS Act, Administrator Huerta would respond to this troubling situation and take action as he is in Aurora. I will be pressing leadership in the House of Representatives to bring my bill up for a vote before the end of the year. We must all work together to ensure we have the best, brightest and most qualified air traffic controllers in our towers.”

The SAFE TOWERS (Standards Addressing Federal Transparency and Oversight With Evolving Recruitment Specifications) Act, H.R. 5675, reverses the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new hiring practices which have passed over the most qualified air traffic controller candidates and raised concerns of safety and transparency because they divert the time-tested hiring process around highly-qualified, CTI-certified trainees and qualified veterans maintaining aviation experience.

Learn more about the SAFE TOWERS Act here.

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