Friday, April 13, 2007

Understaffed air traffic control towers - plane waits for potty break

How is it that with such a high unemployment rate that I keep hearing about, we hear reports like this where there is an obvious need for more employees in the tower. In this article, an air traffic controller went on a bathroom break...leaving the tower unmanned and thus leaving an airplane to circle for 18 minutes until the controller came back on duty.

Companies are too worried about saving a few bucks and they cut essential jobs and risk lives. I would suspect that this tower used to have more than one controller on duty at all times...but then some corporate big wig decided he could save money by transitioning to only one person on duty (maybe not at all times, but during key 'off hours' of the day or something). I'm sure he saved a few thousand dollars...but now he's facing bad press. Unfortunately, it seems the FAA is leaning in favor of continuing this bad trend as they defend the staffing plan and the bad situation.

Truly, it was only an 18 minute lapse this time. But what if something more substantial than a bathroom break had occurred?

Oi vey. Gotta love corporate America.

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