Aptitude testing and “screening” at the FAA Academy have been viewed as keys to reducing field ATCS training attrition. To what extent have ATCS field training attrition rates changed over time with testing and screening? Historical data on training outcomes were extracted from FAA reports and other documented sources for controllers hired in five non-overlapping cohorts spanning 50 years. Academy Attrition Rateaveraged 26% (SD=18%) over the 50 yearsand across options, compared to 25% (SD=4%)in field training. LowerField Training Attrition Ratescoincided with no screening (22%, 1968– 1970) and intensive screening (19%, 1986–1992). Elimination of screening did not result in an increase inthe En RouteField TrainingAttrition Ratein 2005–2010, but the Terminal Field TrainingAttrition Ratetripled(29%) from the 1986–1992low of 9%. The lack of a consistent pattern suggests that field training itself warrants investigation to better understand the dynamics of attrition.
(2017). Attrition in U.S. Air Traffic Control Specialist (ATCS) Training: A Review of 50 Years of Data. 19th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 542-547.