In the 12 months ending Sept. 30, a total of 828 controllers retired, about 29% more than predicted. FAA said estimating retirements is tricky, because controllers aren't forced to retire until 56 but are eligible at any age if they have 25 years service. The FAA said the hiring total exceeded the year's target, but conceded it includes more than 3,000 controllers in training who cannot handle all work stations at their facility. We're getting a lot of enthusiastic recruits," said Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell. "Controller hiring, training and staffing is a major priority, and we are on track to meet future traffic needs."
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