Team Biden’s diversity hiring policy even applies to air traffic control system

by WorldTribune Staff, October 30, 2023

Passengers’ lives depend on the proficiency of air traffic controllers, regardless of what race they are, pronouns they use, or gender they identify as.

But Team Biden has made Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) a top priority in the hiring of federal workers, and that extends to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Even as the FAA’s air traffic control system is facing shortages and safety challenges, the Biden team is pushing diversity hiring initiatives, including racial minorities, disabled people and women, according to its website.

“At the same time, air traffic control is experiencing numerous issues including staffing shortages, mistakes, technological challenges and close call incidents,” the Daily Caller News Foundation reported on Oct. 27.

Close calls for plane collisions have occurred multiple times per week in 2023 on average, according to The New York Times. The numerous near-miss incidents prompted the FAA to launch a “call to action” in February, according to The Washington Post.

The Times also noted that 99% of the FAA’s air traffic control facilities are operating with insufficient personnel. Air traffic controllers are fatigued and some are self-medicating with alcohol and sleeping pills, leading to additional mistakes, the report said.

““It’s imperative that the FAA focus on safety rather than politics, and that’s why we have to employ the most qualified people there,” North Carolina Republican Sen. Ted Budd told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The number one priority at the U.S. Department of Transportation is to look out for the safety of the traveling public. Unfortunately, on this issue, Secretary Buttigieg has been missing in action. When it comes to addressing the numerous transportation safety challenges facing our country, he has been derelict in his duty because his priorities are all wrong. The American people deserve better.”

Mountain States Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiff Andrew Brigida and over 2,000 other air traffic controller applicants who had test scores invalidated due to the Obama Administration’s 2015 FAA diversity policy intended to hire more minorities. The lawsuit became class-action certified in 2022.

“Our Brigida matter is a certified class action designed to deter the federal government from using ‘diversity’ as an excuse for race discrimination,” Mountain States Legal Foundation General Counsel William Trachman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “There is never a good time for the government to embark on any employment program where race matters. And it’s especially obvious that the courts are willing to step in on these issues, after the affirmative action cases this year.”

“We’re certainly critical of the FAA’s efforts — in the past and in the present — to rely on race as a factor in hiring air traffic controllers,” Trachman said. “Obviously we are talking about a line of work where merit and the need for skill are a matter of life and death. No one cares about the race of the air traffic controller guiding in their flight.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the FAA is hiring 1,500 new air traffic controllers in 2023 and 1,800 in 2024.

For Buttigieg, DEI is essential to that hiring, but critics say hiring qualified employees should be the priority.

Manhattan Institute Fellow Heather Mac Donald told the Daily Caller News Foundation: “The cult of diversity has become a death cult. The only consideration for hiring air traffic controllers and pilots should be their technical competence in flying and routing planes.”

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