WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says there are too few fully qualified controllers at more than a dozen air traffic facilities stretching from Atlanta to Anchorage.

WASHINGTON (AP) A government watchdog says there are too few fully qualified controllers at more than a dozen air traffic facilities stretching from Atlanta to Anchorage.

A report released Tuesday by the Transportation Department's inspector general says the 13 airport towers, approach control facilities and en route centers have fewer fully trained controllers than the minimum number established by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA considers the facilities fully staffed because controllers still in training are used to fill in the gaps. But the report says there is great variation among trainee skill levels and readiness to work on their own.

Many trainees need fully qualified controllers to sit alongside and watch while they direct air traffic, ready to step in if there is a problem.