90 Miles From Tyranny : Is The Air Traffic Control Hiring Scandal Evidence Of Broader Affirmative Action Failures?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Is The Air Traffic Control Hiring Scandal Evidence Of Broader Affirmative Action Failures?

In a recent segment on Fox News, Tucker Carlson took the FAA to task for putting “diversity over safety” in its hiring practices:
Starting in 2014 the FAA added a biographical questionnaire to the application process. Applicants with a lower aptitude in science got preference over applicants who had scored excellent in science. Applicants who had been unemployed for the previous three years got more points than licensed pilots got. In other words, the FAA actively searched for unqualified air traffic controllers. That is insane and they knew it was insane when they did it but they did it anyway.

Today we obtained new information, it is an internal email written by an executive at the firm that devised the FAA’s biographical questionnaire. In that email, the executive admits that the test he devised has nothing to do with finding the best air traffic controllers. If you want good air traffic controllers, find people with experience, that was his advice. The FAA ignored this and used the biographical screen anyway. They didn’t care about finding the best air traffic controllers. Compared to diversity, your safety meant nothing to them.

Most of the segment consisted of an interview with former ATC Michael Pearson, who detailed his lawsuit against the FAA...

...but the segment itself didn’t offer any external confirmation beyond Carlson’s word. Unsurprisingly, Carlson was correct – the FAA’s own website clearly says so…

The FAA has made an historic commitment to transform the agency into a more diverse and inclusive workplace that reflects, understands, and relates to the diverse customers we serve. To meet this goal and satisfy the requirements of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission MD-715, the Administrator tasked the Office of the Assistant Administrator for Civil Rights to conduct barrier analyses of the Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS) Centralized Hiring Process, Aviation Safety Inspectors, and Airway Transportation Systems Specialists.

The first study, completed in 2013, is on the ATCS series. These reports reflect a collaborative effort undertaken by the FAA’s Office of Civil Rights, Office of Human Resources, and the Air Traffic Organization. The primary purpose of these reports is to identify and analyze potential barriers to equal employment opportunities within the ATCS Centralized Hiring Process and to offer solutions to establish the foundation for improving the process.

A second study was conducted in 2015 and addressed potential barriers and solutions in the hiring process for aviation safety inspectors.

…and three years ago, The Wall Street Journal blew the horn on how the FAA itself stated that its affirmative action process, the “biographical questionnaire” (BQ), not only was inferior to the existing AT-SAT exam, the agency disqualified prior experience in its hiring criteria:

“The FAA says it created the BQ to promote diversity among its workforce,” reported Adam Shapiro of Fox Business. “All air traffic control applicants are required to take it. Those who pass are deemed eligible and those who fail are ruled ineligible.”

The FAA would not tell Fox Business what the biographical test is trying to measure and did not...

Read More HERE

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