Idle Air Traffic Controllers Cost Taxpayers Millions of Dollars

There are a bunch of regional airports which don’t need the staffing they have during the depths of the night.

The air traffic controllers union continues to fight any late night closings which would save taxpayer money. The average pay of an air traffic controller is $108,000. Closing 100 or so regional airports during the middle of the night would save roughly $10 million/year in overtime.

On the whole not a ton of money, but it is little constituencies such as the air traffic controllers insisting on getting paid when their services are not needed, which collectively cost quite a lot.

Heck the controllers at Reagan National, outside of Washington, DC are over taxed. Transfer some of the controllers to National or LaGuardia or O’Hare if they want to work in the middle of the night.

By the way I know that being an air traffic controller is a tough job, especially at big airports. But the taxpayer still should not have to pay overtime for something which is clearly not needed. Let the air traffic controllers get some sleep—at home.

(From Bloomberg)

That put Willow Run on the FAA list of 102 facilities that could move their overnight controllers to busier time periods. The plan was stopped after pressure from lawmakers including Representative John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who’s the longest-serving member of the U.S. House.

Agency logs of contacts between members of Congress and agency officials obtained by Bloomberg show at least 26 instances in which lawmakers from both parties pressured the agency regarding controller staffing levels or the location of air-traffic facilities from 2010 through May 2012.

The pressure campaigns include a 2010 plea from 16 ofOhio’s 18 members of Congress and two contacts from a Texas Republican who identifies himself as a supporter of the Tea Party movement, which advocates for less government spending.

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