Airway Operational Support

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Airway Operational Support is a directorate of the Federal Aviation Administration, which is an agency of the US Department of Transportation, based in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Tasked with operational support of air traffic control software systems, this organization began maintaining software for approach control facilities in 1993. In December, 1994 assumption of local software adaptation duties in the enroute arena occurred. The directorate began an unsuccessful bid to regain all automation responsibilities in 1995. The effort was rebuffed when a local AOS manager was held responsible for a software outage at the Indianapolis ARTCC. A contract employee had caused the several-day outage that resulted in thousands of delayed and cancelled flights.

While assuming responsibility for software field support, the directorate was in need of experienced personnel from the air traffic controller ranks to flesh out each local office. In order to entice these employees from their secure positions working air traffic many promises were made to the candidates, some in writing. In later developments the FAA elected to ignore these promises; the written promises were challenged in Federal court; despite proof of such claims the plaintiffs were unsuccessful due to their status as "employees at will." The FAA was able to slither out from under their written promises, leaving the employees they had brought into the then-new AOS directorate without benefit of the massive pay increases conferred upon nearly all other FAA employees of identical job category in 1998.

In 2005, under yet another reorganization plan, the FAA entirely eliminated the AOS directorate by moving employees and contractors to other, similar organizational groups while the employees continued doing the same work, at the same desks, in the same offices, under the same supervision as they had for the past twelve years.

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