FAA To Add
Additional Staffing On The Grave Yard Shift At 27 Control Towers
By Daniel Baxter
April 14, 2011 - Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator
Randy Babbitt announced late yesterday that effective
immediately the FAA will place an additional air traffic
controller on the midnight shift at 27 control towers
around the country that are currently staffed with only
one controller during that time.
The FAA is taking this action after an incident this
The medical flight pilot was in communication with the Northern California Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and landed safely. The controller, who was out of communication for approximately 16 minutes, has been suspended while the FAA investigates.
totally outraged by these incidents. This is absolutely
unacceptable," said Secretary LaHood. "The American public
trusts us to run a safe system. Safety is our number one
priority and I am committed to working 24/7 until these problems
traffic controllers are responsible for making sure aircraft
safely reach their destinations. We absolutely cannot and will
not tolerate sleeping on the job. This type of unprofessional
behavior does not meet our high safety standards,? said FAA
Administrator Randy Babbitt.
Administrator Babbitt and National Air Traffic Controllers
Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi are launching a
nationwide Call to Action on air traffic control safety and
Next week, with members of their senior leadership teams, they
will visit air traffic facilities around the country to
reinforce the need for all air traffic personnel to adhere to
the highest professional standards.
to Action will also include an independent review of the FAA?s
air traffic control training curriculum and qualifications and
the expansion of NATCA?s Professional Standards committees. The
FAA is currently conducting a review of the air traffic control
system to look at issues of staffing and scheduling.
As a result, the FAA is investigating additional
incidents involving unresponsive air traffic controllers:
The FAA has
suspended an air traffic controller at Boeing Field/King County
International Airport (BFI) in
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