Sleepy Air-Traffic Controllers Spark FAA Changes
The Federal Aviation Association will add air traffic controllers to 27 towers after another air-traffic controller fell asleep on the job. This time it was at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Nevada.
After several attempts to contact the air-traffic controller, the pilot of an air ambulance, carrying a critically ill patient, was forced to land at the airport early Wednesday. Federal transportation officials said the controller could not be reached for 16 minutes.
In the last two months, there have been 4 other incidents where an airplane pilot was unable to reach a sleepy air-traffic controller at a U.S. airport, including Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport and Seattle’s Boeing Field-King County International Airport.
The FAA has demanded that additional controllers staff overnight shifts where only one controller works. The National Transportation Safety Board and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee have announced investigations of these recent air traffic control incidents.