Bad weather, aircraft maintenance, computer glitches, crew not showing up on time: these are just a few reasons why a flight might be delayed. But you may soon have to add “not enough air traffic controllers” to that list, as the union representing controllers says a lack of manpower will result in more late and canceled flights. [More]
When you’re an Air Traffic Controller who gets fired, there’s a 40 percent chance you’ll manage to keep your job or retire on your own terms. The Federal Aviation Administration has trouble ridding itself of workers it accuses of screwing up, including two-thirds of those it tries to fire for using drugs or alcohol on the job.
The FAA may have enacted changes intended to keep air traffic controllers from falling asleep on the job, but there is still the problem of those conscious controllers who aren’t doing the job they were hired to do — like the one in Ohio who was just exiled from the control tower for watching a movie instead of the radar screen.
The second air traffic controller in a month could lose his job for catching some z’s up in the tower. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt told Congress that the controller was “found intentionally sleeping.” What defines “intentional sleeping?” He had cushions and a blanket, meaning he brought materials to work with him to help him sleep.
With morale among overworked and poorly supported air-traffic controllers bottoming out, “a combination of fatigue and frustration is laying a dangerous groundwork,” reports Time magazine.
AT&T manages the phone line that went out at a Memphis air traffic control center Tuesday, causing massive delays nationwide.