Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport air traffic controller suspended for sleeping on duty

By on Mar 25, 2011 in Lifestyle, Travel, United States Comments

The air traffic controller of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport admitted that he fell asleep while on duty and has been suspended by FAA, as told by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to news reports on Thursday night.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
control tower (at night)

Image Credit: CBSNewsOnline

The controller, whose name was not revealed, was sleeping on duty while 2 planes landed at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on their own on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at around 12:10 a.m. (US time)

According to US news sites, NTSB said that the air controller, who has been in service for 20 years, had been working for four consecutive overnight shifts, which is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“Human fatigue issues are one of the areas being investigated,” read the statement from NTSB.

As reported earlier, an American Airlines Being 737 plane which flew from Miami having 97 passengers received no response from the control tower of the Ronald Reagan National Airport.

About 15 minutes later, a United Airlines Airbus 320 which arrived from Chicago carrying 68 passengers also had the same experience, in which both planes have landed safely.

Nevertheless, the silence from the tower lasted for about an hour as communication resume when the third plane landed, as told by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Later that say, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood instructed the FAA to add one more controller on the night shift at the Ronald Reagan National Airport.

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