Are Air Traffic Controllers Overworked?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

After another incident of an air traffic controller falling asleep while on the job alone, the FAA announced yesterday that it will now post an extra staffer on overnight shifts in 27 control towers across the country. The incident in Nevada early Wednesday morning is the sixth time this year an air traffic controller has fallen asleep while working alone during a night shift.

Reading about the story on Transportation Nation, a commenter named "Matt," who identified himself as an air traffic controller had this to say:

It is not surprising that one of my fellow controllers succumbed to the issues at hand… Most facilities across the nation can barely staff the day shift, much less the overnight shift. I have been working 6 day weeks just to fill our staffing levels. While 6 day weeks might not sound bad, it has a devastating effect mentally on controllers.

Are air traffic controllers indeed overworked? Barbara Peterson, senior aviation correspondent for Conde Nast Traveler, says they are and it's only getting worse.


Barbara Peterson

Produced by:

Max Bernstein

Comments [1]

Herb Ziegler from Cambridge, MA

Barbara Peterson said she doesn't know why near misses are called that since they are near hits. Near miss means they missed but they were near each other, thus too close for comfort. All other air traffic is far misses. Barbara and many others can only think of the slang use of near as meaning almost.

Apr. 14 2011 09:42 AM

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