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Old 08-10-2011, 08:13 AM
  #8  
EasternATC
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Joined APC: May 2010
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Originally Posted by jheath View Post
Thank you for the realistic side of this argument. There are obvious and numerous downsides that must be weighed against the downsides of an airline career. Though, let me ask you...from a controller's standpoint...while it seems obvious that many lower level facilities are in danger of being contracted out, do you ever see a future landscape where centers are farmed out like contract towers? The other argument of course is how is next gen going to affect staffing levels. One of my main reasons for wanting to be a controller is I won't have to worry about being furloughed if there's another terrorist attack or oil prices spike...but a certain captain I've flown with thinks there will be a massive controller furlough someday when the next gen system allows a single controller to work exponentially higher levels of traffic. Though, he also doesn't want to fly for FedEx or UPS because he thinks they'll all be operating as unmanned drones in 20 years, so...

I guess there's never really an answer to these types of questions though.
You're right, there's no solid answer, but I'll give it my best shot...

As far as I know, there are no plans to contract out any IFR services (approach controls, centers) at any time. It will be at least 15 years before nextgen has any effect on the movement of airplanes, and those changes won't cost any controller jobs. I'd guess 20-25 years before the possibility of that exists.
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