View Full Version : Air Traffic Controller Asleep In The Tower

03-24-2011, 02:10 PM
An Air Traffic Controller at Reagan National airport in DC was asleep while planes were trying to land:

Air Traffic Controller Is Suspended

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday suspended the air traffic controller on duty when two passenger jets were forced to land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport without clearance or guidance from the control tower. The controller may have been asleep, officials said.

“The F.A.A. is thoroughly investigating Wednesday’s early morning incidents at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport’s control tower,” said Randy Babbitt, the agency’s administrator. “While that is taking place, we have suspended the air traffic controller from all operational duties. I am determined to get to the bottom of this situation for the safety of the traveling public.”

In an unusual stinging critique, Mr. Babbitt added: “As a former airline pilot, I am personally outraged that this controller did not meet his responsibility to help land these two airplanes. Fortunately, at no point was either plane out of radar contact and our back-up system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes.”

Rest at link (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/us/25airport.html)