FAA & Controllers Need to Wake Up

By Robert Mark on April 14th, 2011

This probably isn’t going to come as a great shock to most Jetwhine readers, but air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job is not a new problem. Getting caught falling asleep certainly seems to be though. Controllers are just people though. When they’re tired, they get sleepy, just like pilots.

DozingPilots What’s really disturbing about the recent rash of incidents at Washington National, Knoxville and Reno is that the only solution FAA seems to see to solve the problem of one sleepy person on a midnight shift is to add a second. Maybe one guy will shoot BBs to keep the other awake. Short of that though, a second controller on duty is only going to look like it’s solving the problem, just like FAA, tossing Hank Krakowski under a bus today as the responsible party is also a non-solution. But that’s the way big government and industry think. Someone’s head has to roll, especially when the DOT Secretary is up in arms.

News flash to 800 Independence Avenue! Controllers falling asleep is not the problem. It’s merely a symptom of the problem.

The core issue is and always has been the fatigue-inducing schedules controllers have worked since the beginning of time. Schedules normally rotate so a controller’s shift almost never begins at the same time each day, each week, a circadian-rhythm destroying strategy sure to make people doze.

In the worst portion of the workweek, a controller reports for work at 6 AM Monday morning, works until 2 PM and is required to return that same night at midnight and stay awake all-night shift. Do try this at home and watch the fun trying to make it til dawn.

Unless a controller can nap after that 6 AM shift, they might well be up for as much as 28 hours before they return home. The issue really is about much more than feeling a little sleepy too. Alertness Solutions’ President LeighIMG_0167 White says, “Just a four-hour sleep loss can impair human performance equal to drinking a six-pack of beer, or about 0.095 in driving terms.” That means sleepy controllers and pilots are operating with a brain that functions as if they were legally drunk.

Alertness Solutions is a Cupertino-based provider of workable sleep strategies for industry and government, including business aviation.

Remember the crash in Lexington a few years ago when the Delta Connection aircraft took the wrong runway for takeoff in the dark completely unnoticed by the only controller on duty? That controller said one reason he never noticed the pilot’s mistake was because he was working one of these crazy shifts and had managed only two hours of sleep in the previous 24. Forty-nine people died in that crash.

White said, “It’s not a surprise to me that controllers are falling asleep [on these schedules]. It is also very difficult to rely on an individual’s personal perception of their own state of fatigue. There’s really no silver bullet to avoiding fatigue, but a consistent schedule that establishes regular routines is a huge benefit.”

So if all it takes is a consistent work schedule of some sort, why didn’t the agency implement one long ago? Here’s the rub. For the most part, air traffic controllers like the work schedules just the way they are, thank you, because they afford them the most free time. Controllers normally work midnight shifts as their last day of the work week – their Friday so to speak.

FAA has been relatively lucky with fatigue issues, but it’s clearly time to change, especially since coincidentally, the agency is trying implement new time and duty requirements on commercial pilots.

White has a few recommendations to build a true fatigue risk management program, often part of a Safety Management System (SMS) FAA will also soon demand for aircraft operators. The agency also does not have one of these in house either.

“When you’re talking about a fatigue risk management program, you need to influence the people affected,” White told me. “They must truly understand how fatigue is affecting their job performance. Then you need to look at the politics of the organization itself and finally, begin establishing appropriate schedules. The mechanisms and outcomes of fatigue and circadian rhythm disruptions are well know. This isn’t rocket science.”

Perhaps this current rash of snoozing controllers will make controllers and management sit up and take notice. We know it got Randy Babbitt’s attention. The controller’s union – NATCA – and FAA management have been looking for ways to work more effectively together. Here’s a great place to start. Make this work NATCA and you’ll garner the respect of the public and some great PR. And if FAA management can bring this all together, Capt. Babbitt won’t need to look for a new job.

Rob Mark, Publisher

Related Posts:

33 Responses to “FAA & Controllers Need to Wake Up”

  1. Wes Says:

    The issue isn’t as easy to solve as people hope.

    First, a misstated fact showing up in media. That is that controller pay is $161,000 per year. Maybe for the Supervisor at Reagan airport, but not for controllers hired since ’06. Graduates of ERAU, UND, and Daniel Webster make 1/3 of that at our facility after two years training for certification.

    Now to the scheduling. The current 2-2-1 format allows FAA management the ability to have more controllers available for overtime. Large facilities need and use that flexibility frequently. It is cheaper than hiring more controllers.

    The schedule benefits controllers in a longer time off. If I work midnite shift, I leave work at 0700 Friday, and return to work 1500 on Monday. Time I don’t get to spend with my family during the evenings of the week, I get to spend on my longer break.

    In my opinion, some of the facilities open 24 hrs with one controller, probably could be closed at midnight and opened at 0600. Other facilities need to be staffed with two people and catnaps should be condoned. That doesn’t mean sleep for 3 hours, but a 45 minute nap is enough for most people. If there is traffic, both need to be awake. I’m sure that there are flight crews flying the backside of the clock that take a nap one at a time on a 6 hr flight.

    What most people don’t understand about pilots and controllers, it is not a job, it is a lifestyle. The schedule just makes a critical job more stressful.

  2. JetAviator7 Says:

    Robert, I agree with you. Somehow the public (and FAA) seem to think pilots are incapable of operating into and out of an airport without an air traffic controller.

    We live in an era of “Let’s expand government” which really solves nothing.

    My father always used to tell me that “There is nothing more uncommon than common sense!”

    JetAviator7

  3. Ex-FAA Says:

    As a retired controller I think I can speak with some authority on this subject. The FAA has been “studying” sleep patterns and fatigue since the 1970’s. The old study is usually followed by a new study with the same results: nothing changes. It is not uncommon to work a 2pm-10pm shift and double back to a 6am-2pm shift then double back again to a 10pm-6am shift, otherwise known as “the rattler”. Technically and legally you have 8 hours between shifts and that is all that is required. The reality is that mentally and physically your body begins to fade in the wee hours of the midnight shift.

    Most tower/tracon facilities I worked had two controllers on the mid shift. At some point traffic slacked off so that the radar operations could be combined to the tower radar so that everything was run from one tower position. This gave an opportunity for one controller to take a short nap while the other worked what traffic there was. Later they would switch. If needed, the second controller was available for instant recall. Depending on the ATC facility, this was the norm for a couple of generations or so. However, some facilities were notoriously chicken s**t and went to great efforts to try to catch controllers taking a quick 40 winks while on an approved and bona fide break. The rationale was that, despite whether the controller was assigned a position or not, the government wasn’t paying you for naps. At the same time you could look across the field at the firehouse knowing that 10 of the 12 firefighters on duty were utilizing the sleeping rooms so appropriately provided. No reason not to rest if you weren’t needed……but not okay for controllers.

    The overall reality is that it is a monumental task to change shifts every day, double back on those shifts every day, and end a weeks work with a midnight shift. If the FAA wants people to be alert, they should create an environment that facilitates that.

    One answer might be to increase staffing on the midnight shift so that, like the firefighters, a couple of people could take those naps when not needed. (One ATC facility that I worked in Canada had quiet rooms for that purpose). However, that might cost the FAA some money. It would certainly require a change in the culture to allow and encourage proper rest if you are exhausted. Another solution to the midnight issue might be to have a few controllers designated as the “midnight crew”. If nothing else, your body would get used to working through the night if it was done on a routine basis and wouldn’t be quite so apt to try to shut down on you.

    I agree that there is no excuse for not doing your job as was evidenced by the recent sleeping issues. However, the FAA needs to look at realistically addressing the root cause and acknowledge that the midnight shifts challenge a person’s body clock. Draconian and punitive disciplinary action are not the answer. It’s kind of like beating a mule who you’ve had plow the fields all day because they just are too tired to pull the plow. Duh!

  4. Adam Spink Says:

    When I read of incidents like this I am very thankful for SRATCOH. Here in the UK, SRATCOH (Scheme for the Regulation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Hours) was introduced in 1991. By law, it stipulates limits on working hours.

    ( Section 2 of Part D, CAP 607 – http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/cap670.pdf )

    Most importantly, at H24 units, we work 2 earlies, 2 lates, and 2 nights, 1 sleep day and then 3 days off. At least 12 hours between each shift.

  5. Rob Mark Says:

    Thanks Ex-FAA. I agree with everything you said having worked those schedules too.

    I’m curious though, what do you think is the reason so many people seem to be getting caught lately … and not just by management?

    And in case you missed it, FAA today banned The Rattler schedules. Good move on their part.

  6. Martinlady Says:

    Rob,

    You said “And in case you missed it, FAA today banned The Rattler schedules.” Just to let you know, the FAA hasn’t banned it as far as I’m aware. The recommendations that they’re working from as it pertains to the Rattler schedule deal primarily with increased hours between shifts and/or shorter shifts.

    As of yet, we still don’t know what changes they are definitely implementing. My personal opinion is that there needs to be some care taken in the implementation of whatever they do. We’re coming into the season for “prime time” leave and those 30 facilities that just put an extra body on the midshift have now, in essence, left their dayshifts short a body…before anyone takes their vacation. That will increase overtime usage and, ultimately, fatigue again.

    Some of the recommendations from the workgroup just won’t work in conjunction with one another in a smaller facility. No more than one mid in a week won’t get you 2 bodies on a midshift in a facility with only 15 bodies.

    Keep in mind that we’re already short bodies nationwide. IMO, there isn’t a one-size fits all solution that will immediately take care of the problem. There’s going to have to be smaller steps implemented to start the process on its way first and longer-term solutions implemented when they actually staff us at better levels.

  7. Robert Mark Says:

    Interesting observation Martinlady. Quoting from the NATCA press release that came out just a few hours ago … “To that end, the Administrator has made a smart move today to prohibit scheduling practices that have been identified as those most likely to result in air traffic controller fatigue. We are working closely with the FAA to continue the significant efforts underway to address fatigue and, as the FAA announced today, more details are forthcoming.”

    Now I must admit I interpreted that to mean an end to the Rattler. You don’t read this that way?

  8. Martinlady Says:

    No, Rob, but I freely admit I could be wrong. I just know that getting rid of the Rattler wasn’t a recommendation identified by the Agency/NATCA workgroup. What exactly is going to happen and how it will be implemented has not yet trickled down to my level. I don’t work a Rattler (thankfully!), so I don’t see any significant changes to my own work schedule in the next week or so. :-)

    I guess we’ll have to see what happens next week, won’t we?

  9. Len Hobbs Says:

    Just a thought…these recent ‘controller’ incidents would appear to be another ‘text book’ example of a governmental authority – abdicating responsibility – they impose on the industry.

    The whole world has been ‘forced’ into QMS and SMS conformity by the DOT and FAA – which do not have such policies in place and, therefore, do not follow them!

    Is there an aviation professional – anywhere – who has not been ‘lead by the nose’ through pages of compliance regulations – citing ‘processes, procedures, controls and performance measurement?

    I am not expecting this ‘issue’ to be addressed with objective ‘logic and reason’. I expect another bureaucratic whitewash, with soaring oratory, psycho-babble platitudes and ambivalent ‘memo’s’!

    Human beings falling asleep at work – in aviation – in health care – in ‘Vice Presidential attendance to Presidential speeches’ and hundreds of other instances…is pandemic Mr. Babbitt and Mr. LaHood are facing a problem – much bigger than both of them – and they do not possess, and cannot hire, the intellectual armament required to solve the conundrum.

    Unfortunately, our culture, our ethical decay and our political society no longer can muster the resolve…and dare I say …the ‘onions’…to put a stop to a dangerous series of events.

    I would simply ask the ‘authority’ – where is the ‘control’ and ‘process measurement’ for the procedure?

    Respectfully,
    Len Hobbs
    lenhobbs@att.net
    (254) 631-9785

  10. Ex-FAA Says:

    Rob Mark says: “I’m curious though, what do you think is the reason so many people seem to be getting caught lately … and not just by management?”

    I don’t know Rob. I can only guess. On another blog topic of yours I commented as to the quality of many of the people being hired and “trained”. While there are always those who rise to the top with great talent and work ethic, too many are just pushed through to meet the numbers. Maybe that is a part of it. Likewise, I have seen the quality of supervisors take a huge hit. I really don’t know the answer.

    Personally, I think this whole work schedule and midnight shift thing has been on a collision course with disaster for a very, very long time. I believe that controllers themselves are not blameless in this issue. Controllers have fought long and hard to protect the 2-2-1 schedule in order to maximize their time off. I fought for that too. Unfortunately, the very schedule we fought for may very well be the most detrimental part of the whole fatigue issue. Starting on days and ending on evenings provides the most time between shifts but also minimizes time off. The midnight shift should be its own entity. Perhaps, like I worked in one facility, the controllers should work a week or more of mids every few months, rather than one a week. At least your body can adapt. I also truly believe that the FAA has too long taken the attitude of ” don’t worry about the mule, just load the wagon”

    In short, I don’t think there is any one answer or cause. Maybe the FAA and NATCA need only look as far as one of the many studies that were commissioned to find the answer. All parties need to stop the disciplinary rhetoric and posturing to address the issue. Beating that old mule with a whip might keep him awake, but he is one pissed-off mule. Mules have a good memory too.

  11. MooneyMark Says:

    Ex-FAA’s analysis is right on. I’ve completed an FAA ATC career as well and found mid shifts to be something to suffer through as best one can. Trading them off was good. Opening Tower doors to let the winter wind ventilate the Cab worked. The FAA’s position on naps is indefensible in a rational world. Expect an irrational change in policy.

  12. Tom Says:

    At the very most, the solution might be to hire a contract controller to babysit the single FAA controller on duty on the mid shift. Throwing more time and money at the problem is not necessarily the solution. The “kids” in Iraq and Afghanistan get court martialed if they decide to take a nap- provided that nap doesn’t cost them or thier buddies lives…

  13. Back Country Bill Says:

    Rob I’ve been asking myself that question since the 2nd incident. Almost seems contrived. I’m just sayin, seems like too much, too often, suddenly.Think UNION, Stranger things have happened. Has anyone actually been fired?? I doubt it.

  14. Randy Says:

    Did anyone at the FAA study the people who were recently found asleep? Were these events related to a scheduling issue? Is everyone is jumping on this as a cause with no investigation? I haven’t seen any analysis.

  15. ex faa sup Says:

    The 2-2-1 depleats an already tired and depleated workforce. The fox got into the chicken coup 20 years ago and ate all the chickens, while all concerned parties disavoud knowledge of a possible future problem. Now the newer chickens have come to the conclusion that “WE deserve more time off, regardless of cost(s). Next demand is for soda pop in the water fountains. Stop the swaps; stop the rattler; a week of eves, then a week of days followed by another week of eves, days and then, hold on to your hats, a week of Mids. Believe me, after the second mid the body gets used to being up all night! Stop wineing and start working for you pay.

  16. Harrison Says:

    Sweet dreams and flying machines. Ahh, James Taylor was ahead of his time. It seems that a few thousand years ago our ancestors decided that humans should endeavor during the day and sleep at night. This probably had something to do with the fact that they kept stubbing their bare toes while wandering around in the dark. A few years later someone discovered fire (probably some copilot’s ancestor pushing buttons just to see what would happen) and illuminated the night for nocturnal activities. Still, our diurnal cycle (not that…I’m talking about a sleep pattern) dictates that we sleep at night.

    Now that I’ve enlightened you with the undisputed scientific facts, let’s all assume a holier than thou attitude, as humans are prone to do, and criticize the air traffic controllers who have been snoozing on their stool. (Pardon the unfortunate mental image). Let’s keep in mind that he is doing what is known as a double back. He got off work at four in the afternoon and is back in the tower at midnight for a solo shift. So what, he had eight hours to sleep, right? Well, kinda. It took an hour to drive home, and then he had to eat dinner. In bed by seven with the sun still shining bright through the drapes—toss and turn for awhile, double check the alarm clock. Ten p.m., up and at em. Shower, shave, brush your hair and comb your teeth, a quick breakfast and out the door by eleven for the hour drive to work. This is a piece of cake.

    All alone now at four in the morning. The tower is quiet but at least it’s dark and warm and cozy. No airplanes in sight for the last three hours. This is the time of night that military attacks begin because the enemy is least perceptive. The controller’s primary duty is to separate traffic. Uh…there is no traffic. The pigeons roosting below the cab ignore his commands and bump butts at will. Even if an airplane shows up, there will be no one to separate him from. He considers another cup of coffee, but his bladder feels like a basketball already. Is there a restroom in the tower?

    Criticize all you want. Fire the guy, lock him up, or deport him. I’m just saying…

  17. Robert Mark Says:

    You guys are good.

    While we know the schedules certainly set people up for fatigue-induced naps, we have to recognize the importance of something Ray LaHood said yesterday (and there wasn’t much, trust me).

    Controllers are going to have to accept a certain amount of responsibility for this as well. IF and that’s a big IF, they wanted schedules that didn’t wear them out, they could demand them.

    But like management, line controllers didn’t think it was that bad, nor did management. Until now, it all just worked sorta.

    My guess is that while the 9 hour break is about as silly a solution as they could have developed — short of adding more management to watch everyone — the days of the schedule that works well for controllers to grab extra time off are soon going to end.

  18. wyo.d Says:

    Shift work is not a normal or easy way of life. I do agree that workers need to be responsible for their actions. Where the heck did UNION come from. Oh right conservative blame game or complete lack of knowledge? I have worked shiftwork for over 30 years. Yes I have fallen asleep at times. It is a proven fact that if you are in a position to sleep when a rytham comes by you will fall asleep. sitting at a monitor in a dark room is a relax induced environment. Much like sitting and reading a paper on sunday afternoon. when it hits you will fall asleep. The only way to change this is to utilize a better work schedule.

  19. Bill Says:

    Having been on a USAF team that studied airlift aircraft crew duty-rest cycles way back in the sixties, I am amazed that this subject is still an issue with anybody. I don’t think you will find anything really new in the science. FAA has a management problem, not a controller problem. Someday, pehaps, we will stop going in circles with this subject!!!???.

  20. Doug Rodrigues Says:

    I challenge the FAA hierarchy to live the schedule that the controllers are required work for one month. The hierarchy doesn’t even have to work, just stay awake on the schedules that require them to be awake. Take a before and after photo of the managers. I’d lay bets that the stress of just trying to function on that crazy schedule will become obvious in the after photo.

  21. Fenton Taylor Says:

    The work schedules that controllers are required to keep are insane. Nobody can stay alert working those hours. Why cant they schedule controllers to work the same shift every day. After a certain period of time, they can change to a different shift, which could be based on seniority or just preference. This keeps the body and mind rested and allows people to be able to plan their lives better. Whomever thought it would be a good idea to have their employees working odd shifts at a job where a mistake could cost a lot of lives should be fired immediately.

  22. Jesús Calderón Says:

    In Spain, starting on May, we’ll start working 2 mornings 2 afternoons and 1 night with its sleeping day and 2 off. However, in most big towers and centers where more atcos are needed, they will start with 2 mornings, 2 afternoons 2 nights, a sleeping day and a day off…pretty tough from my point ov view. Looks like this is going to be maintained til AENA sells (or privatizes) some towers (if not all of them) and sends its personnel to the area centers and tracons which are likely to be held by AENA.

  23. E. Allan Englehardt Says:

    Rob:

    The problem of FAA controllers falling asleep would be best solved by simply installing a loud bell on the land line from the TRACON or Center. That’s all that’s needed.

    Schedule adjustments would be a big help too, as you have suggested, but I agree with you that adding additional controllers is just a waste of money. If a controller is asleep, as has been happening for years, the pilot just lands as he would at the hundreds other part-time towers after hours. That’s just not problem.

    By firing the head of the ATC system, the FAA is simply taking a pound of flesh as revenge to appease the politicians who don’t understand the system.

    Hiring another controller in the towers for night shift is a waste of money.

    Regards,
    E. Allan Englehardt

  24. mFC Podcast | Episode 14 | Night Flying, Changes to the FAA Written Exams, ATC Update | The myFlightCoach Blog Says:

    [...] JetWhine: Controllers Need to Wake Up [...]

  25. stuart Says:

    So far, only one person has questioned the need for a tower controller during these low traffic periods. Most of these airports are served by an approach control facility which can provide traffic separation and approach clearance. Switching to the CTAF at the final approach fix would avoid any conflicts with local VFR traffic.

    The only issue might be the need for weather reporting (which could be handled with an ASOS unit).

    We pilots know how to do this which, in my opinion anyway, makes this a no-brainer.

  26. What Others are Saying about Sleeping Controllers | R. Doug Wicker — Author Says:

    [...] FAA & Controllers Need to Wake Up [...]

  27. Howie Says:

    I am a controller from Mississippi. There is a huge story behind the controller fatigue issue but no one wants to dig deep. I have been a controller for 33 years and will soon retire. The schedules that are being discussed and criticized have been in place for 30 years. To say controllers desire this is a stretch. The compressed schedule basically does this: Your work week is 3,2,10,8,6. This is a typical non mid schedule. Your first day back starts at 3 and your last day you get off at 2. Still 2 days off. Now, here are the facts. In 2006 the FAA cut controller pay 30% and froze that pay for 4 years. The already aging workforce (56 mandatory retirement) began retiring in record numbers. The contract was fixed last year in order to put a finger in the dam. Still less pay than 2006. The union was working with the FAA about the fatigue problem, but both sides had a problem. To fix the staffing crisis controllers began having to work 10 hour days and 6 day work weeks. In order to reverse the schedule to implement the NTSB recommendations in would make it illegal for a controller to work overtime because it would put them past their maximum 6 days of work in a row. So, the 6 day work week is needed to staff facilities with MINIMUM coverage. The FAA doesn’t want to admit they have a staffing crisis and the union doesn’t want to make Obama and Lahood look bad. At my facility we have 12 certified controllers and 10 trainees with 3 more by August. We should have 23 certified controllers. It takes 2 to 3 years to be certified to work alone. No media has come close to getting this story right. One Fox news commentator wondered if this being a stressful job was a myth and maybe we are really bored. Go to the FAA school then enter training and let me know if you think we are bored. That is absurd. If there isn’t a staffing problem then why are we working 6 day work weeks and 10 hour days? Why are they not implementing the number one recommendation of reversing the schedule? They can’t make it work. 9 hours will make 0 difference. Come on media DIG.

  28. Howie Says:

    P.S.
    Obama’s wife’s plane gets too close to another. These errors are way up also. Tired controllers working more airplanes with less controllers is also an outcome of critcal staffing.

  29. Robert Mark Says:

    Howie:

    What a story. If this is more the norm than the exception, the
    media did get it wrong … me included!

    Any of you other controllers experiencing these 10
    hour days and six day work weeks?

    Rob

  30. Gary Says:

    I like E. Allan Englehardt’s idea of a bell (or claxon or horn). When I was a controller 30 years ago, I could pick up the red phone in the tower cab and hear bells going off half a mile away at the fire station. The doors were also raised and the lights turned on, so accidentally knocking the phone off the hook in the middle of the night was definitely a no-no.

    And I also agree whole heartedly with stuart questioning the need for ANY controller at all on the midnight shift. But I disagree with the notion from anyone that a single controller should ever be scheduled for a mid. If you need one controller, then you need two. To the best of my knowledge, all of the toilets were removed from tower cabs by the early 1970s when women controllers became common place, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a controller to go 8 hours (especially if he or she is drinking gallons of coffee to try to stay awake) without going to the bathroom. Sure, male controllers can pee in a can or pee off of the catwalk (if there is a catwalk) where they can still hear the speakers in the tower, but I’m sorry, I think employees should be able to use a real bathroom during an eight-hour shift.

    Thirty years ago, I was really hoping that PATCO and the FAA would get down to brass tacks on this issue, but, of course, we all know how that worked out. At Tulsa International, where I worked in 1981, there were usually three scheduled arrivals, one scheduled departure, and one scheduled overflight between midnight and 6 AM. If I was working the mid, I always called dibs on the tower (there was no way I was EVER going to stay awake down in the radar room) and usually the controller assigned to “approach” would come up to the tower (we had BRITE and all of the frequencies in the tower) and we’d play chess, checkers, cards…anything to stay awake, because we sure as all get outs weren’t controlling traffic — THERE WASN’T ANY!

    I remember one night when Chicago closed because of weather. And then St. Louis closed. And then Kansas City closed. Tulsa and Oklahoma City became the alternate for fifty or more airliners that had never before seen Oklahoma, and I guess on that one night having controllers in approach control and/or the tower was worthwhile, but that’s the only instance I can think of where there was a need for controllers after midnight.

  31. Jesús Calderón Says:

    Howie: as I’ve posted before, in Spain AENA says starting in May we should start working 5 days on 1 sleeping and 2 off, but that means each atco would work (in my facility, Barcelona tower, we’r about 80 active atcos) 1500 hours/year. The union has done some maths and 1500 x 80 atcos doesn’t complete the year. So we know we’ll have to do some 6 days on 1 sleeping and 1 off to complete the year. And this year they’ve reduced our pay to 50%!!
    So in Spain AENA also badly needs more personnel but they’re not going to hire anymore, they’re going to sell to private atc companies the control Twr’s and send us to big area centers and tracons…

  32. Browbands Says:

    getting sleepy on midnight shift is a longtime issue which no specific solution is implemented, If someone will be appointed to monitor the staff it will be a lot better,

  33. mFC Podcast | Episode 14 | Night Flying, Changes to the FAA Written Exams, ATC Update | myFlightCoach.com Says:

    [...] JetWhine: Controllers Need to Wake Up [...]

Subscribe without commenting