FAA Announces New Anti-Fatigue Rules for Air Traffic Controllers

On Sunday, April 17, the federal government announced new rules that will prevent air traffic controllers from falling asleep on the job, according to a report by CNN. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Air Traffic Controllers Union agreed to the changes, effective immediately, after a number of air traffic controllers were found sleeping on the job. Under the new rules, controllers will be able to take at least nine hours off the job between shifts. Currently, they are allowed an eight-hour minimum. And after a day off, the controller cannot be put on a midnight shift.

On Saturday, April 16, another air traffic controller was suspended by the FAA for sleeping on the job. This incident was the seventh disclosed by the FAA so far this year. It was reported this week that some air traffic control towers only have one person on duty during night hours. Two planes at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington had to land with no communication from the control towers this past Wednesday, April 13. Two controllers have now been scheduled on the overnight shift at Reagan. em>The Washington Post reported last July that the number of near-misses at Reagan National in just six months had surpassed the total of 18 the previous year.

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