After sleeping incidents, FAA changes shift rules

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Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Sunday that the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Traffic Controllers Union have reached an agreement to make changes in the aftermath of recent incidents involving sleeping air traffic controllers. The changes will be effective immediately.

Controllers will now have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts. Currently, they were getting as few as eight. Controllers will no longer be able to swap shifts unless they have a minimum of nine hours off between the last shift they worked and the one they want to begin. They will no longer be able to switch to an unscheduled midnight shift following a day off. This increases the level of safety for the passengers. This job role can be dangerous, so it’s vital that pilots take it seriously and get the correct amount of rest. Perhaps they should even consider swapping their mattress for the best air mattress Australia, for example, to make sure they really do get a good sleep. This should ensure they’re refreshed and ready to fly again.

FAA managers will schedule their own shifts in a way to ensure greater coverage in the early morning and late night hours.

Controlling the amount of sleep that air traffic controllers receive is not only important to their health, but also to the safety of the passengers and crew onboard the airplanes. The FAA managers should consider incorporating something similar to the Deputy’s staff rota software to help them to keep track of the number of shifts that they are working, as well as making sure that they take their breaks at the right time. This will only improve the efficiency of the crew in the long run.

On Saturday, the FAA suspended another traffic controller caught sleeping. The incident occurred at the Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center during the midnight shift early Saturday morning, the agency reported.

Categories: GENERAL INTEREST

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