Second Napping Controller Found ... With Blankie

Knoxville air traffic controller intentionally slept, FAA says

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 7, 2011 6:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a DC air traffic controller fell asleep on the job, the FAA learned of a second one who did the same thing—but this one did it intentionally. The Knoxville air traffic controller went so far as to find cushions and a blanket to use for his nap, Reuters reports. While he slept, during a midnight shift on Feb. 19, the airport tower controller was forced to cover the other man's duties.

An FAA administrator revealed the story during House transportation subcommittee hearing yesterday, and said the agency is looking to fire the snoozing controller. During his nap, seven planes landed over a five-hour period, the Washington Post reports. In a statement, the FAA says it is "conducting a nationwide review of the air traffic control system, including overnight staffing at selected airports around the country.”

The FAA control tower at Reagan National Airport, where one air traffic controller napped, is seen in Arlington, March 23, 2011. A second air traffic controller napped in Knoxville, not pictured.
The FAA control tower at Reagan National Airport, where one air traffic controller napped, is seen in Arlington, March 23, 2011. A second air traffic controller napped in Knoxville, not pictured.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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