Teenage Air Traffic Controllers?

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that it would award $100,000 bonuses to people willing to take jobs as air traffic controllers, in an effort to lure workers to understaffed control centers in New York. The FAA has targeted people as young as 18 in their search for new air traffic controllers by recruiting at high schools and on youth-friendly websites such as MySpace and Craigslist. While training can take at least a year and a half, recruiting employees right out of high school means that we will soon have people as young as 19 and 20 patrolling our skies and looking after our safety.


Ironically, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the FAA are both federal agencies of the U.S. Department of Transportation. While the NHTSA’s take on alcohol-related traffic fatalities promotes a minimum legal drinking age of 21 and claims that under-agers cannot be trusted to drink responsibly, the FAA’s recent recruitment policies seem to say that people as young as 18 can, in fact, be trusted to act with maturity and responsibility.


In other words, the government has determined that 18 year olds are responsible enough to make split-second decisions affecting the safety and lives of millions; however, they are not responsible enough to drink a beer. It doesn’t really make sense to us; be sure to watch this CNN clip and let us know what you think.

2 Responses to “Teenage Air Traffic Controllers?”

  1. Michael Burmeister Says:

    I’m 20 and the profession I’m actually going into is air traffic control, specifically TRACON. It’s ironic, because when I left high school I had the option of either going straight to training for air traffic or going Georgia State University and getting a degree. If I had chosen air traffic over over school I would be sitting in a seat right now…and I’d be unable to join my co-workers at the tavern.

    I don’t see how alcohol requires more responsibility then having complete control of over thousands of lives and millions in property and assets.

  2. Steve Ball Says:

    I wonder why you can legally try someone under 18 as an adult in a court of law and then say an 18 yr old adult can not be responsible to drink but can lose their life defending our country. tisk tisk..