Amidst growing embarrassment over a series of incidents in the last few weeks where air traffic controllers fell asleep on the job, the FAA announced over the weekend that it was making changes in an effort to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
The new regulations will increase the amount of time, from 8 hours to 9, between shifts and will increase the amount of late night and early morning shifts worked by FAA managers Reuters reports.
“I don’t know when I’ve ever been madder,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told “Fox News Sunday”.
“On my watch, controllers will not be paid to take naps. They are going to be paid for the job they are trained to do, which is to guide planes safely.”
While the new rules will go into effect this week, it is unclear whether these changes represent the entirety of the changes that the FAA will make or if more changes will be coming as the FAA investigates the issue further. Considering the amount of attention and publicity the issue has received, I would expect that this is just the first step of a much wider overhaul that we will see with air traffic control regulation in the coming months.