Air-traffic controllers have lately been falling asleep on the job. After the sixth incident, the FAA announced, “controllers would be given at least nine hours off between shifts instead of the current eight-hour minimum. Controllers also will be prohibited from switching shifts with another employee unless they have had at least nine hours off.”
There was word that the controllers would be given longer breaks between shifts under new anti-fatigue rules, but Transportation secretary Ray LaHood said on Fox News Sunday, “on my watch, controllers will not be paid to take naps.” According to the FAA and the union, controllers are responsible for using their time off to get appropriate sleep.
Luckily, none of these incidents have been a cause of any accidents, and the FAA and the union are making changes to prevent any accidents in the future due to fatigued and sleeping air-traffic controllers. The most important point is that this situation is taken care of so we can continue to fly our private jet clients safely to their destinations.