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Air Traffic Controller Staff Shortages at LAX an 'Alarming Risk'

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Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

We've all heard time and time again: LAX tends to have too many close calls of planes knocking into each other. At the crux of the problem, many believe, are the staff shortages at the airport and in the main radar facility that guides planes between the six regional airports.

"For years, the controller staffing situation has only become more severe," Feinstein wrote in a letter to President-Elect Barack Obama's transportation secretary, Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.). "Retirements have outpaced projections, training goals have not been met, trainees have dropped out of the program at alarming rates and the supply of available military-trained controllers has dried up."

In the past few months, 40 people came and went leaving little room institutional memory and for veteran controllers to become experts in the region.