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FAA moves to address air traffic controller fatigue

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Continuing its work to improve aviation safety, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tasked a panel of fatigue experts to identify new ways to address air traffic controller fatigue.

The three-member panel will examine how the latest science on sleep needs and fatigue considerations could be applied to controller work requirements and scheduling. The panel will identify potential ways the FAA could better address controller fatigue.

As part of its work, it will review previous controller-fatigue research.

The panel will begin its work in early January and provide a final report to the FAA about six weeks later.

Mark Rosekind, a safety and sleep/fatigue professional and former National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member, will chair the panel. Other members are:

  • Charles Czeisler, chief and senior physician, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans, head of the NASA Ames Research Center Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory.

“I applaud the FAA for taking a concrete step to address air traffic controller fatigue. Any FAA funding bill we pass must include hiring the necessary number of air traffic controllers to alleviate the strain on our nation’s air traffic controllers and support the FAA in its mission to provide the safest, most efficient air traffic system in the world,” U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) said. “The FAA and air traffic controllers are doing everything they can with the resources they have. We need predictable FAA funding to provide our airports with the necessary resources to hire and train new controllers. That’s the only way to get more planes in the air safely and reduce the delays.”

“We need to get a bipartisan deal done to fund the FAA now — no more delays, no more government shutdowns, no more extremists playing political games with the safety of the skies. We can’t keep rolling the dice on the long-term safety of air travel. Patchwork solutions will not solve our problems,” Gottheimer said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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