FAA Accused of Helping ATC Applicants Cheat

Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center Courtesy of FAA

A report by Fox Business News has raised questions about the FAA's hiring of air traffic controllers by using the results of a controversial segment of the testing to screen out some applicants while favoring others who, critics suggest, are not as qualified.

The test segment in question is a pre-employment test called the biographical questionnaire, a take-at-home test asking applicants questions of which many applicants find it hard to see the relevance. One question, according to Fox, asks applicants about their interest in sports.

To make matters worse, Fox in its report said that some within the FAA might have helped applicants cheat on the test by providing answers. While some media critics have suggested that the practice could degrade the quality of air traffic control services, the questionnaire is a very recent addition to the test.

Moreover, the FAA points out, it is a small part of the overall hiring process. Still, some applicants, passed over presumably because of their performance on the questionable pre-employment test, have filed an equal employment challenge to the decision, claiming they were unfairly denied employment based on a flawed process.

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