FAA gives exec planning a lift

For the Federal Aviation Administration, succession planning makes practical

business sense: It is important to the agency's future success.

"It started with a business case," said Lindy Ritz, director of the

FAA's Aeronautical Center, who is heading the agency's new executive work

force planning effort. Several issues influenced the agency's decision to

launch a succession planning program, including a desire to successfully

respond to the future challenges of air traffic growth, technology advances

and resource constraints, Ritz said.

Also, about half of the executives who report directly to the FAA administrator — and the administrator herself — will be eligible for retirement by fiscal

2003, Ritz said. "We need to be ready to fill those jobs. We need people

to fill the high expectation we have for performance," she said. "We want

our plan to become systematic and institutionalized in the FAA."

The FAA has developed executive success profiles based on industry and

government benchmarking. It is using forecasting models to determine resource

requirements and future availability of talent. The next step is the succession

planning and development process and coming up with supporting administrative

systems, Ritz said.

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