Air Traffic Controllers Overly Fatigued, Report Reveals

Controllers' work schedules often lead to chronic fatigue, making them less alert and endangering safety, according to a newly released government study.
2:20 | 08/11/15

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Transcript for Air Traffic Controllers Overly Fatigued, Report Reveals
A secret government report raising red flags about safety in the skies. 5,000 planes in the air above us at any moment. Those are the flights in the air right now this morning. Many of the air traffic controllers responsible for guiding those planes may not be getting enough sleep. David Kerley with this report. Reporter: Concerning how many these controllers admitted to being fatigued and the FAA has had this report for nearly four years and kept it under wrap until the associated press pushed the agency to release it. Kroerl fatigue, examples, Tennessee, pilots unable to reach the tower on approach. Yes, sir, we're trying to get a hold of Knoxville approach or Knoxville departure. Reporter: Similar situation in Reno. Can't seem to get a hold of the tower here. Reporter: At Washington's own tower, controllers asleep and jets landing without guidance. Tower is apparently not manned. Made a few phone calls, nobody's answering. So you can expect to go in an uncontrolled airport. Reporter: Prepared back in 2011, controllers come piling worrying statements. 70% caught themselves about to doze off on the midnight shift. Some wore wristbands or admitted to getting less than six hours a night or less than four hours before a midnight shift. Lack of transparency on the FAA discussing this. Reporter: The FAA has made changes. But quote, fatigue is an issue in a any around the clock occupation. Among those changes the FAA now requires two controllers in a tower on that overnight shift, it used to be just one, David. That's good news. David Kerley live in Washington. Right over to Amy robach

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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