“I am totally outraged by these incidents. This is absolutely unacceptable,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to the Associated Press. “The American public trusts us to run a safe system. Safety is our No. 1 priority, and I am committed to working 24/7 until these problems are corrected.”
It sounds like there might not be much sleep for those investigating these incidents any time soon either.
“Air traffic controllers are responsible for making sure aircraft safely reach their destinations,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “We absolutely can not and will not tolerate sleeping on the job. This type of unprofessional behavior does not meet our high safety standards.”
These incidents, perhaps the result ongoing concerns about those who control our skies, should really be no big surprise though.
Falling asleep helps on the “long shifts without a break” problem but does not help the other two very much. Even awake, air traffic controllers have their share of problems
“In the 12 months ending on Sept. 30, 2010, there were 1,889 operation errors – which usually means aircraft coming too close together, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. That was up from 947 such errors the year before and 1,008 the year before that” reports ABCNews.
Let’s hope the FAA is addressing those other issues as well.