Senator Mike Braun introduced a bill to increase air traffic controller hiring in September 2023. The language of that bill has been included in the FAA reauthorization package that will become law in the next few weeks.

The original bill, the Air Traffic Controllers Hiring Act of 2023, was introduced by Senator Braun, Senator Marshall, Senator Lujan, Senator Shaheen, Senator Klobuchar, and Senator Boozman.

“Air traffic controllers work around the clock to ensure that America’s aircrafts are taking off and landing safely and on time. At a time when our air traffic controller workforce is below national standards, Congress needs to do its part to help alleviate employment shortages and make sure United States aviation operations are living up to America’s gold standard for air travel. That’s why I’m proud that our language is being included in the FAA bill and will become law.” — Senator Mike Braun   

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association applauded the inclusion of the language.

Eleven groups have endorsed the Air Traffic Controllers Hiring Act of 2023, including: theNational Air Traffic Controllers Association, Association of Flight Attendants, Transportation Workers Union, Air Line Pilots Association, Airlines for America, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, International Association of Machinists, the National Business Aviation Association, the National Safety Council, U.S. Travel Association, and Heritage Action for America.


  • An FAA working group recently found that the FAA must maintain more than 14,000 controllers to meet demand compared to the threshold of 12,000 that the FAA is targeting under its current model and the approximately 10,600 controllers that are currently employed.
  • On June 21, 2023, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report that found the FAA “has made limited efforts to ensure adequate controller staffing” and determined that 20 of 26 (77 percent) critical ATC facilities are staffed below the FAA’s 85 percent threshold.