Saturday, October 17, 2015

ATC Retirements

There have been many recent articles and news stories on the critical staffing levels of air traffic controllers. The percentage of eligible to retire controllers is still quite high and the number of new controller trainees is quite low.

Last night I was at another controller retirement party for two guys that I worked with. One had moved to a staff job several years ago and was past the age of being able to work airplanes. The other still could have worked for another year, but decided to go now.
Congratulations to both of them!

The people that made it to the party were an interesting mix. It was mostly retired controllers that were there. There were a couple of the newer controllers and a couple of the newer supervisors and just a few of the controllers that I worked with over the years. I did enjoy the night and visiting with the people that I once worked with. It would appear that retirement is agreeing with my fellow retirees.

I know that there are many factors that each eligible controller considers about when to pull the trigger and leave. Part of the pull to stay is that it really is a great career. I can honestly say that I still enjoyed working airplanes at the time I left. But I used to tell my boss that as much I liked my job, I could usually think of at least one place that I would rather be each day -- and sometimes it was just home, smoking a cigar on the deck. When it got to the point that it didn't make much sense to stay financially, it was time to go.

Although I still consider myself to be an apprentice retiree, I am enjoying it very much. I think I'll enjoy it even more when I get a new motorcycle! I like taking the little CM450 (1982) out for a ride (almost everyday) but would like something that I can take for a longer trip next summer. I would love to make a day trip or two to St. Louis for a couple of ballgames or ride to Chicago to see the kids. And I'm OK with going alone. I think that time on the motorcycle is good therapy. I always feel great after taking a long ride!

I wish the best to my new fellow retirees!
Apprenticeship in retirement is way better than training for ATC!

John <><


Mike said...

Maybe I'll go sign up for ATC as a part time retirement job. I'll tell them I just want to do one plane a day.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I'm glad retirement is agreeing with you and the other retirees, John!