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. Tom Bell

    So that's why they talk so unintelligibly fast! So they can get back to their nap. (Joke)

    July 1, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lisa

    I visited a tower at IAH once and I dont know how in the world they managed to stay awake in near pitch blackness! They are amazing people!

    July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    @Kevin:
    I agree fully.
    It's always the ones who have never held this type a job that chime in about ATC being lazy bums, wanting special treatment, etc.

    I *know* that I could never do this job, and I applaud the ones that do.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. lisa

    My uncle flew for the air force, my dad for the army, my father in law as mail carrier for the navy and my son atend flight school at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University at Prescott and I thank all of the hard working poeple who helped them land safely!

    July 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. lisa

    My uncle flew for the air force, my dad for the army, my father in law as mail carrier for the navy and my son attended flight school at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University at Prescott and I thank all of the hard working poeple who helped them land safely!

    July 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JJsMom

    They Agree to New Guidance on Fatigue?? ummmm They should be told "how it is going to be" not ask for their concurrence....These people that do these jobs get paid dang good money and if it is too "rough" on them then they need to step aside and let somebody who wants to follow the guidlelines have the jobs. The sad part is, the ones that caused the problems make it sound like "all" of them fall asleep on the job, that just isn't so. Get rid of the slackers....

    July 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBR

      Obviously you have no clue what's involved with the job and just actually how "rough"it is. The toll on the body and mind after years on the job, keeping you, your family and the rest of the flying public safe is extrodinarily high. Just doing the job is "rough" so don't sit there and preach about how you think you know who should be doing it or not. The money isn't as good as you think except for the few at the busier facilities (and even there the forced overtime is what "pads" the salaries), and no, we do NOT get free health care, free retirement, or free flights when we go on vacation. You are correct about one thing. There are 15,000 plus controllers on the job 24/7/365 and less than five were found sleeping on night shifts. That leaves 14,995 plus who were and are not now sleeping on position. I'll give you that one, but until you've walked in our shoes, you have no right to tell us how rough you think it is.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      @DBR – we have every right to give our opinion of your job. We pay your salary. True, some people's opinions are more informed than others, but this silly notion Americans have that a person can't comment on anything at all unless he or she has deep, profound personal knowledge is completely ridiculous.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    That picture isn't an air traffic controller at ATL. That is an air carrier ramp controller who doesn't work for the FAA.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matthew

    "Flight 123, permission to land denied. Game 7 is in the 11th inning, and I'm listening to the radio. I'll get back to you once it's over."

    July 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBR

      Matthew,
      My salary is paid for services rendered. I'm no diiferent than your auto mechanic, doctor etc. My salary is mine once I perform my duties You have no clue about what you doctor does either, and once you pay them you move on. You have no right, and wouldn't think of telling your doctor how to do his/her job. To do so would be ridiculous. They are highly trained in their profession, as am I in mine. You are no more an authority on what I do as you are an authority on open heart surgery, so until you've experienced and perfected both, no, you don't have any right to make inane comments about shock chairs, talking fast so I can take a nap etc.

      July 1, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banassie

    A nap is a good thing.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lisa

    Yes your right about it not being under the FAA but I failed to mention all flew after their enlistments except my son who has not served and has only flown privately. He wanted to follow in his grandfathers and fly for a major airlines but the FAA took issue with his eyesight. He has a slight color blindness in the dark blue range. With the later computers it could cause issues.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Fillup

    Yes, it is.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    @DBR:

    Word.

    July 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    I usually nap on Saturdays. Sometimes it's weird because day dreams are stranger than night dreams. Problem is, I hardly ever dream. One time I was having a HOT dream and a d am roach bit me on my leg. I woke up and killed it. Never saw that girl of my dreams again. (Sigh)

    July 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy

    @Cesar:

    You can say damm roach.
    And thanks for sharing! 🙂

    July 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    @banasy: You're welcome.

    July 1, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
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