Thursday, April 28, 2011

FAA issues new rules to keep controllers awake

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday issued new work rules aimed at preventing air traffic controllers from falling asleep on the job during overnight hours.

Six separate incidents have alarmed regulators and safety advocates in recent weeks, including a lone controller at Washington's Reagan National Airport who fell asleep on March 23 with two jetliners en route.

The new rules give controllers an extra hour of rest time between shifts and require FAA managers to work more early-morning and late-night hours.

The new FAA rules give air traffic controllers at least nine hours of rest between shifts, instead of the current eight hours.

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