June 25, 2019

US air traffic control chief resigns

Look, I am awake is that good enough for you? I can't say the same for Hank and his boys though.

Hank Krakowski, the chief of the US air traffic control agency has resigned after a string of incidents where air traffic controllers have been asleep on duty.

Randy Babbitt, chief of the Federal Aviation Administration, said he had accepted Hank Krakowski’s resignation.

On Thursday, Mr Babbitt pledged a “top to bottom review” of the air traffic control system, in case any planes end up falling from the top to the bottom because of snoring advice from air traffic control towers.

In the past month, several planes have been forced to land safely at US airports without any help from controller’s, due to their lack of conciousness.

“Over the last few weeks we have seen examples of unprofessional conduct on the part of a few individuals that have rightly caused the travelling public to question our ability to ensure their safety,” Mr Babbitt said in a statement. “This conduct must stop immediately.”

Mr Babbitt said David Grizzle, chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), would assume Mr Krakowski’s duties as acting head of the Air Traffic Organization.

Newswarped suspects that Mr Randy Babbitt was teased mercilessly at school about his name.

Mr Babbitt announced on Wednesday that the FAA would place an additional air traffic controller on the midnight shift at 27 control towers across the country; previously, they had been staffed with only one controller during that shift. Now they can read each other bedtime stories. “Last one left awake has to look after the planes”.

The issue rose to prominence last month when two jets were forced to land at about midnight at Reagan National Airport, just by Washington DC, without help from the local control tower, because the controller was asleep on duty.

This week, the FAA revealed that an air traffic controller at a major airport in Seattle had fallen asleep during a morning shift on Monday; the FAA said he had also fallen asleep on two separate occasions during an early evening shift on 6th January.

And a controller in the US state of Nevada was asleep and out of communication for about 16 minutes on Wednesday while a medical plane was landing, federal officials have said.

An air traffic controller in Tennessee was found to have lain down for a nap during an overnight shift in February, the Washington Post reported.

Newswarped is just grateful that it is the air traffic controllers who can’t keep their eyes open, and not the pilots.