FAA, air traffic controllers agree to new guidance on fatigue
A controller works in the tower at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.
July 1st, 2011
02:57 PM ET

FAA, air traffic controllers agree to new guidance on fatigue

The FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association have announced agreement on new fatigue recommendations after numerous incidents involving air traffic controllers sleeping on the job.

Air traffic controllers will now be allowed to listen to the radio and read appropriate printed material while on duty from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as traffic permits. In addition, the agreement says that air traffic controllers can now request to take a leave if they are too fatigued to work.

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Filed under: Aviation • U.S.
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    @Mmmmm: The house hygiene says, "Hi Jean."

    July 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      LOL, sleeping with pizza boxes in the bed can be hazardous...you sure that girl you dreamt about was just you rolling over on a piece of garlic bread???

      July 2, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gia Pet

    Who says he was in a house? He could have been staying in a Roach Motel.

    July 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rose

    😉 Weeeeeeeeeeeee Conga anyone!

    July 2, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Name*drew

    When reporting news, maintain the objectivity! To appear smug and condescending when reporting news on national television is "gumbel"-like! Humility and objectivity goes a long way! Does the phrase "walk a mile in my shoes" enlighten you? When is the last time a CNN anchor has consistently worked 10-16 hr days, 5-6 days a week, for at least one year? Let alone 1 years, or perhaps 35-40? Get real! Try it for one 16 hr day, alone, before you smugly report and scoff about air traffic controllers!

    July 2, 2011 at 7:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. joann

    How,is listening to the radio and reading going to work?Some,people fall asleep listening to the radio.And,reading makes one feel tired enough to fall asleep.Why,not have rotating shifts for people,who do this kind of work?I,mean one guy works 3 hours,and then anther works for 3 hours and so on. JoAnn

    July 2, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Ham

      Trust me, anything helps. Imagine listening to the sounds of computer fans all night, with an occasional pilot calling you, it gets boring and it becomes hard not to fall asleep.

      July 2, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sarcasm

    New phone, JoAnn?
    Can't figure out how to work it yet? Or are you honestly that bad with punctuation?

    July 2, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bubbles

    If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly.

    If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you.

    If you have multiple personalities, press 3, 4, 5 and 6.

    If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call.

    If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will be transferred to the mother ship.

    If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press.

    If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press – no one will answer.

    If you are dyslexic, press 96969696969696.

    If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the hash key until a representative comes on line.

    If you have amnesia press 8 and state your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and your mother's maiden name.

    If you have post-traumatic stress disorder, slowly and carefully press 000.

    If you have bi-polar disorder, please leave a message after the beep or before the beep. Or after the beep. Please wait for the beep.

    If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9.

    If you have low self esteem, please hang up. All our operators are too busy to talk to you.

    July 2, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. michaelfury


    July 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bubbles

    @ michaelfury... I see we have something in common... LOL my friend.

    July 2, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Frank

    Right out of college-I worked for the FAA for 7 years and installed the electronic equipment that the controllers use. The equipment in the US is trusted and proven. The current difficulties being reported are human related. Too often-controllers will work double shifts and flex time to secure 3 day weekends. It's a personal choice that is now affecting the safety of the flying public! FAA management need to establish work rules that engage employees to work smarter and ensure their safety and that of the flying public.

    Working long hours is not unusual- 60 hour work weeks is common in private industry.

    July 2, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Planetalker

    OK, It's 11pm on the 4th of July and all across the country the mid-shift is either driving to or reporting for duty at every air traffic control facility that is open 24hrs. These are the same people who left work at 2pm this afternoon. For those of you who would fire all who didn't show up for work well rested I ask how does one become well rested during a quick turn shift on the 4th of July when your neighborhood sounds like Baghdad during a coalition airstrike.

    Of 15,000 controllers 4 or 5 were caught sleeping, thats .999937% of the time that there was no one sleeping, even on the forth of July. When you can do your job if you have one that well then I give you permission to critique controllers.

    July 5, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
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