Thursday, April 7, 2011
Next time your plane has been circling the airport for longer than seems necessary, it's possible the air traffic controller on duty has his blankie and cot out and is taking a little snooze:
Another air traffic controller was found asleep on the job, but unlike the incident at a Washington, D.C., airport last month in which a controller inadvertently dozed off, this was apparently no accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a controller in Knoxville, Tenn., deliberately went to sleep on the job during a midnight shift on Feb. 19. Sources told ABC News the sleeping controller didn’t simply nod off — he made a bed on the floor of the control tower, using couch pillows from the employee break room and a blanket.
FAA administrator Randy Babbitt said they are trying to get the sleeping controller fired.
“It was unfortunately willful, and we are in the process of disciplinary proceedings which will terminate this employee,” Babbitt said Wednesday at a congressional hearing.
The revelation of this incident comes on the heels of another sleeping controller last month at Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport.