3:48 PM

Atlanta Controllers
Deserve Better!

It is painfully easy to see that at nearly every level in W's Washington, cronies are celebrating their "no bid" wealth while their agencies flounder. As a pilot, one of the most glaring examples of this is at FAA, where we see the katrinization of the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center in Hampton, Georgia is in now full swing. From a 10.10.07 NATCA press release:

The nation’s busiest air traffic control facility, Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, is currently the site of a dangerous mold and fungus infestation that has reached crisis proportions after sickening scores of employees, adding an extraordinary amount of anxiety and stress to an already difficult work environment and has even led an outside contractor to pull its employees out of the building due to the serious health concerns. Specifically, there is a fungus called Scopulariopsis in the control room. Spores from this fungal source are being dispersed through the air. Fungal samples were taken at the facility on Sept. 20 by Analytical Environmental. According to NATCA Atlanta Center Facility Representative Calvin Phillips, approximately half of the more than 300 controllers in the facility have suffered various degrees of health problems over a prolonged period of time.
So that coughing sound you hear in your headset is that of a ZTL controller choking on what FAA considers to be air. This is just wrong on so many levels to see what FAA has become:
In July, Atlanta Center’s notoriously leaky roof was exposed before a Congressional committee, which reviewed photos of trash cans placed near controllers’ radar scopes to collect rainwater falling into the control room. But NATCA says that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Years of dampness has caused the mold to flourish beneath the raised floor. The FAA ignored the warnings and pleas of the workforce and issued sick leave abuse letters instead.
The entire Georgia Congressional delegation has had enough, and recently sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters on the serious situation at ZTL, urging her to correct the problems of mold, air quality and the leaking roof immediately:
“We are concerned that the poor conditions at Atlanta Center are affecting the health of employees at the facility while detrimentally impacting the safety and efficiency of the airspace for which they are responsible. The FAA has a responsibility to ensure a safe workplace for these employees. The lack of urgency in correcting this problem is frustrating."
We know that FAA and NATCA are locked into a "no holds barred" cage match right now, and the NATCA press releases on the conditions at ZTL are so alarming, they are almost unbelievable. But when every member of the Georgia Congressional Delegation signs a letter urging FAA to act, there can be no question this is a serious issue. Maybe FAA just thinks ZTL is a tiny little radar room that doesn't matter in our airspace system...but they're dead wrong if they write these important controllers off:
Atlanta Center is responsible for the safe flow of air traffic in over 104,000 square miles of airspace encompassing parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, including all of the aircraft landing and departing Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Charlotte’s Douglas International. In 2006, the facility handled over 3.125 million aircraft. The facility is divided into seven areas of specialization and operates 45 sectors.
Forget about thinking they are qualified to build any sort of NexGen Satellite ATC system, these guys can't even get the roof fixed. This is what The Decider has let happen to your FAA...we now have rotting centers filled with dangerously disgruntled controllers.

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