BALTIMORE (WJZ)—There’s a big shake-up at the Federal Aviation Administration in the wake of air traffic controllers falling asleep while on duty. Now the chief who oversees the nation’s air traffic system has resigned.
Andrea Fujii explains the changes being made.
The FAA says an air traffic controller at the Reno-Tahoe International Air Base was sleeping on the job Wednesday when a flight landed at 2 a.m.
“At no time—and I want to stress at no time—was safety compromised,” said Krys Bart, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority.
The Reno flight landed with assistance from air traffic controllers in northern California. The U.S. Secretary of Transportation is outraged.
“I believe this is an outrageous situation that will not stand on my watch,” said Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary.
The public has watched several recent cases of traffic controllers dosing on duty on overnight shifts. In addition to Reno, two fell asleep at the Lubbock, Texas airport; one fell asleep this week at a Seattle airport; one fell asleep in February in Knoxville, Tenn.; and one at Reagan National Airport on March 23.
The FAA promises to put two controllers on the overnight shift, but still passengers seem split on what to do about the controller who fell asleep in Reno.
“You got too many lives at stack for something like that. I would recommend that he find another place to work,” said Lloyd Carter, of Baltimore.
“I believe in redemption. We’re all humans. We all make mistakes,” said Aaron Weichmann, of Catonsville.
BWI already staffs two air traffic controllers overnight.