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Byline: Jon Hilkevitch
CHICAGO _ Pressed by Congress to plan better for retirements and maintain safe skies, the FAA on Tuesday announced a strategy to swap out most of the nation's air-traffic controller work force over the next 10 years.
The Federal Aviation Administration's plan to fill 12,500 jobs at radar screens across the country is intended to offset the retirement of more than 11,000 veteran controllers who were hired to replace striking controllers fired by President Ronald Reagan two decades ago.
FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's decision to abandon traditional hiring practices _ which were geared mainly at only meeting attrition instead of building a strong bench for the future _ was generally welcomed by aviation experts and lawmakers. The FAA said it will have …