After Reno Air Controller Sleeps Through Landing, Official Vows, 'We Will Not Sleep' Until Safety Is Guaranteed


"Air traffic controllers are responsible for making sure aircraft safely reach their destinations. We absolutely cannot and will not tolerate sleeping on the job," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "This type of unprofessional behavior does not meet our high safety standards."

The DOT is investigating two other incidents of controllers possibly sleeping on the job. A statement by the agency revealed that it has suspended a controller at Boeing Field/King County International Airport in Seattle for falling asleep on Monday morning and two controllers at Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas, for an incident that occurred early on March 29.

Dick Marakovitz, a former air traffic control manager, said uneven schedules may be one reason air traffic controllers are falling asleep on the job.

"There is obvious fatigue implications when you rotate from shift to shift throughout a week or a daily period," said Marakovitz.

The FAA said it is reviewing how it staffs and schedules air traffic controllers.

Controllers will be added to the midnight shifts at the following airports:

1. Akron-Canton, Ohio (CAK)

2. Allegheny, Pa. (AGC)

3. Andrews AFB, Md. (ADW)

4. Burbank, Calif. (BUR)

5. Duluth, Minn. (DLH)

5. DuPage, Ill.(DPA)

6. Fargo, N.D. (FAR)

7. Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (FLL)

8. Ft. Lauderdale Executive, Fla. (FXE)

9. Ft. Worth Meacham, Texas (FTW)

10. Grant County, Wash. (MWH)

11. Kansas City Downtown, Mo. (MKC)

12. Manchester, N.H. (MHT)

13. Omaha, Neb. (OMA - Tower)

14. Omaha, Neb. (OMA - Approach Control)

15. Ontario, Calif. (ONT)

16. Reagan National,Va. (DCA)

17. Reno, Nev. (RNO)

18. Richmond, Va. (RIC)

19. Sacramento, Calif. (SMF)

20. San Diego, Calif. (SAN)

21. San Juan, P.R. (SJU)

22. Terre Haute, Ind. (HUF)

23. Teterboro, N.J. (TEB)

24. Tucson, Ariz. (TUS)

25. Willow Run, Mich. (YIP)

26. Windsor Locks, Conn. (BDL)

27. Youngstown, Ohio (YNG)

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