Personnel absenteeism may be due to epidemics, walkouts, "sick-outs," illegal strikes,
and the like.
Definition of Significant Disruption
A significant disruption is a peacetime situation, short of a national emergency, in which
the operational capability of one or more FAA ARTCC areas required to provide
services is seriously reduced. The intent of the contingency plan is to decentralize
authority by delegating contingency actions to the lowest echelons capable of carrying
out the required action and making appropriate decisions.
The ATC contingency plan is based on the following assumptions:
The FAA will maintain primary cognizance for the overall management of the
At least 30 percent of the ATC system will remain functional
Military ATC facilities and services will be fully available
A national emergency will be declared if the FAA ATC system becomes
nonoperational (greater than 70 percent loss of capability)
14 CFR will not be waived in any situation other than a national emergency
How the Contingency Plan Works
Associate Administrator for Air Traffic will determine that a significant disruption has
occurred and will so notify the National Military Command Center (NMCC) which will, in
turn, notify the headquarters of the individual military services. The Air Traffic Control
System Command Center (ATCSCC) in Herndon, Virginia will provide centralized
direction of the ATC systems. Upon notification of a significant disruption, CNO will take
action to cooperate with the FAA by reducing Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations
in areas affected by the disruption while maintaining overall continuity of naval air
operations to the maximum extent possible.
Under the ATC contingency plan, the commanding officer may take the following
Cancel leave and liberty for military ATC personnel
Recall military personnel from annual leave
Extend the length of the workday and workweek
The FAA may redeploy its personnel. However, FAA personnel may not be redeployed
from military facilities without the concurrence of the military commanders.