NSC expo
Subscribe or Register
View Cart  

Earn recertification points from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals by taking a quiz about this issue.

What's Your Opinion?

Does your CEO "get it" about the value of worker safety and health?

Take the poll and add your comment.

Vote Results

FAA makes scheduling changes to prevent controller fatigue

April 27, 2011

Tags
  • / Print
  • Reprints
  • Text Size:
    A A

Washington – After a number of recent incidents involving air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job, scheduling changes will take place to allow for more rest time between shifts and keep the traveling public safe, Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Randy Babbitt announced April 17.

According to a press release, Babbitt and other FAA leaders will continue visits to air traffic facilities nationwide as they promote a “Call to Action” effort to educate others about traffic control safety, professionalism and risks of fatigue. FAA also plans to commission an independent review of the air traffic control training curriculum and qualifications. On April 13, Babbitt said an additional air traffic controller was placed on the midnight shift at 27 control towers around the country.

The new scheduling rules were immediately put in place and became fully effective April 22. The rules state:

  • Controllers now will have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts.
  • Controllers cannot swap shifts unless they have a minimum of nine hours off between the last shift worked and the one they want to begin.
  • Controllers cannot switch to an unscheduled midnight shift following a day off.
  • FAA managers will schedule their own shifts in a way to ensure greater coverage in the early morning and late-night hours.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy.