Rules from the Office of Personnel Management revise the definition of who is deemed to be an air traffic controller for purposes of special retirement provisions applying to controllers. The rules, published in the June 6 Federal Register, carry out a provision of Public Law 108-176, effective as of February 10, 2004.
The new definition of air traffic controller includes the class of employees traditionally considered to be air traffic controllers (ATC)–that is, civilian employees of the Department of Transportation or the Department of Defense working in air traffic control facilities or flight service station facilities as either frontline air traffic controllers or immediate supervisors (i.e. first-level supervisors) of frontline air traffic controllers. It also expands the class of individuals eligible for special ATC retirement benefits to include second-level supervisors (i.e., supervisors of immediate supervisors of frontline ATCs).