Following at least five cases of controllers sleeping on the job and a controller suspended for watching a movie during his shift, the Federal Aviation Administration’s embarrassment is ever deepening.
So far, the FAA has suspended nine controllers and supervisors in the last two months. In nearly all the cases, the incidents occurred on overnight shifts when traffic is lighter and people naturally have a tendency to sleep. The rash of incidents has spurred late-night comedic mockery and has raised public concern about the safety of air travel.
Concerns about work schedules that don’t allow realistic sleeping opportunities are being addressed by New York City Injury Lawyers.
In the most recent incident, an air traffic controller was caught watching a movie early one morning while on an active shift. His microphone became stuck in the transmitting mode and for three minutes, the controller was unable to hear incoming radio calls because he was playing the movie audio on the airwaves set aside for him to monitor planes on. The FAA reported that the controller was made aware of the mishap when a military pilot made contact and told him of his gaffe.
Five recent cases involve controllers falling asleep. FAA administrator was quoted as being “infuriated” that these employees were caught snoozing. “None of us in this business can… tolerate any of this. It absolutely has to stop.”
In another case, the FAA is investigating why two controllers in another location were unresponsive to radio communications.
An FAA Administrator and the President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union that represents controllers, met with about 50 controllers and other FAA employees recently as the two men started a nationwide tour of the air traffic facilities. Their goal is to send a message to the public and the controllers: “Unprofessional behavior won’t be tolerated.”
Transportation Secretary of the United States repeated the same message when he was interviewed last week, according to a Bronx Criminal Lawyer. Even President Barack Obama reiterated on ABC News that the proper authorities were taking care of the situation.
These type of incidents can lead to serious personal injury. If your or a loved one has been injured in accident involving the negligence of another party, it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Should you be injured in an accident that precipitated because of a controller’s negligence or because he or she did not follow the instituted safety controls, call Stephen Bilkis and Associates for advice and a free consultation.