[UPDATE] Shake Up at the Federal Aviation Administration

By: CBS / Associated Press Email
By: CBS / Associated Press Email

[UPDATE] 4-16 2:19 PM --

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government is changing air traffic controllers' work schedules following another incident of a controller falling asleep on the job.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it happened early Saturday morning at a radar facility in Miami that handles high altitude air traffic. A controller fell asleep while on duty.

The FAA says 12 other controllers and two managers were working at the time.

The sleeping controller has been suspended.

FAA chief Randy Babbitt says changes will be made to work schedule that have been identified as most likely to cause fatigue within 72 hours.

The country's air traffic system is getting a top to bottom review.
The head of of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization resigned after the latest embarrassment at Reno-Tahoe International.

A controller fell asleep in the tower Wednesday and did not answer a pilot's urgent request to land an airplane ambulance. The Pilot said, "We've got a pretty sick patient, we may just have to land."

The plane landed without assistance and no one was injured.
in recent weeks 3 other controllers have been caught snoozing on the job.

U.S. Trasportation Secretary, Ray LaHood says, "I want the flying public to know, we're not sitting down trying to make excuses. We've stepped up, we've added more staff and I believe personally that this is an outrageous situation that will not stand on my watch."

The FAA is now increasing staffing in 27 airport towers.

"The Burbank airport in California is one of the airports that will add an extra air traffic controller overnight to make sure 2 people are always in the tower."

One man says, "These are lives that are at risk here." "I think the person who fell asleep should be fired and they should hire someone who doesn't fall asleep."

The Burbank airport does not allow commerical flights to land between 10 at night and 7 in the morning , but private and cargo planes are allowed. .

One Republican lawmaker says the FAA is misdirecting resources and that extra tower operators could be better used at bigger , busier airports.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on Apr 17, 2011 at 07:12 AM
    For God's sake what kind of schedule do they work? Why are so many going to sleep? Do they feel so secure in their job they fear no reprocussions? These controllers had to have their towers shaken once before by President Reagan. Do it again. Now they are going to put two controllers in the tower. Apparently not needed to control planes. One will work the plane(s), the other will keep that person awake. FAA reports that the average annual salary for a ATC is $109,000. (2009) excluding overtime. I know a lot of people that work in responsible jobs for 8-12 hours that only wish they had the possibilty of making that kind of salary. Sounds like featherbedding to me. What may happen in next occurence is that both controllers go to sleep. Impossibe? I wonder. Next.
  • by bill Location: Lithuania on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM
    It just seems . .we can blame everyone . .but ourselves . .. Oh well . .my kid did get nthat govt. job . . . . I'm sure he must have had some qualifications . .. I did donate to the Repub's . .. right after his warden . ..
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 119879299 - wctv.tv/a?a=119879299
Gray Television, Inc.