Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




This research project identified three distinct groups of individuals the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) utilizes when filling the employee ranks of Air Traffic Controllers (ATC). After a nationwide strike, President Reagan fired the entire ATC workforce in 1981 (Pavel, 2012). Since then the FAA has worked very diligently in filling the vacant positions. Now three decades later the impending retirements and attrition of those hired earlier is estimated at nearly 14,000 controllers over the next 10 years (FAA CWP, 2012). In response to this shortage it would be advantageous for the FAA to minimize the time lapsed in the selection, hiring and training processes. If the hiring process time was decreased, it would save the FAA money in terms of a reduction in the initial cost of training Air Traffic Controllers (GAO, 2012; IRP, 2011). Traditionally the FAA hires from three distinct groups of people. The first is those with prior ATC experience which was usually obtained through the military. Second the general public with no experience and third the Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) candidates. The AT-CTI program is a valued partner with the FAA that helps educate the next generation of Air Traffic Controllers; however in the past the program has had difficulty producing the total number of replacement controllers needed. Due to the delay some CTI graduates may choose other career paths rather than wait and be hired to go to the FAA Academy which will further reduce the number of candidates for the FAA to hire. To date, no public research has been done pertaining to the time delay in the hiring process of AT-CTI candidates and the impact on training success at the FAA Academy and at the CTI’s first FAA facility. This study used a survey tool to gather information on how long AT-CTI graduates wait to be hired to attend the FAA Academy. Information was gathered on the factors that may affect the time lapse between graduation and the time they arrive at the FAA Academy. In addition, the effect of the wait on the success rate of training at the FAA Academy and at the candidate’s first facility was examined. Data was collected to examine the relationship between a CTI graduate’s performance in the CTI program and the individual’s performance during FAA training at the FAA Academy and assignment to their first facility. Through correlation analysis of the Air Traffic Basics (AT-Basic), Air Traffic Selection and Training (AT-SAT) and Performance Verification (PV) scores there was significant correlation between the AT-Basic and PV scores. As the AT-Basic score increases so does the PV scores. There needs to be future research on GPA’s, PV’s, AT-SAT and AT-Basics scores to determine if any of them are predictors of CTI’s success in training. If the FAA can better predict if an applicant will be successful in training, it can save the FAA money in the selection, hiring and training process.