CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 20, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5785, a bill to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for an annuity supplement for certain air traffic controllers, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 5785 was introduced on July 14, 2016, by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) and was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent on September 15, 2016.
H.R. 5785 allows retired air traffic controllers to work as full-time air traffic control instructors, without affecting their ability to collect their full retirement annuity supplement.
Under current law, in order to serve as an Air Traffic Control (ATC) instructor, an individual must have served as a certified FAA controller. However, a retired ATC must make less than $15,720 a year to receive their full Federal Employees’ Retirement System annuity supplement. This income cap discourages retired controllers from working as full-time instructors, and therefore increases the cost for training new instructors. It is estimated to cost about $10,000 to train one full-time instructor, compared to roughly $40,000 to train four part-time instructors to cover the same need. H.R. 5785 allows retired controllers to be retained, which according to the sponsor will save money and will enable ATC instructors to have increased experience.
According to the bill sponsor, “Our air traffic controllers have proven themselves to be exceptional at what they do; we should be incentivizing them to work more, not less. Losing them at a relatively young age, when they can serve vital roles as instructors, simply makes no sense. This [bill] corrects that and makes the airways safer world-wide. It also saves a lot of wasted effort on needless contracts.”
 See Rep. Steve Russell Press Release, “Airways Could Be Safer With Full Passage of Russell FAA Bill,” September 15, 2016.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently not available.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.