Summer airline travel continues to get more and more complicated. You already know about staff shortages of pilots and flight attendants...but don't forget those Air Traffic Controllers. Aviation expert Mike Hatten says it takes a lot of them to make sure your flight is safe from take-off to landing. He gives the example of the country's busiest airport. "Working in that Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Tower or local Control Room are an average of 58 controllers at one time during one shift - and they work around the clock." Hatten says it takes years to get them fully trained - and many of them are retiring every month.
Hatten continues, Air Traffic Controllers have a complicated training. "An ongoing training program that takes 2-3-4 years to training someone in all of the various aspects of the job." Here's one more an added problem. "In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan fired the Air Traffic Controllers for participating in an illegal strike. They had to be replaced at one time - and that means they many if not most are all ready to retire now."
Hatten's advice is like all the rest - book your flight early and pack your patience.