Air Traffic Control Safety Oversight, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First Session, May 24, 2011 [open pdf - 1MB]
From the opening statement of Maria Cantwell: "We're having a hearing today on air traffic control safety oversight, and we are joined by witnesses, the Honorable Randy Babbitt, FAA [Federal Aviation Administration]; and the Honorable Calvin Scovel, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation; Paul Rinaldi, President of the Air Traffic Controllers Association; and Dr. Gregory Belenky, Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University. Thank you all very much for being here. Today, the aviation subcommittee is holding an oversight hearing on air traffic control safety. And I know my colleague, Senator Thune, will be here soon, but I want to recognize him in his new role as Ranking Member for this subcommittee, and I say that I look forward to working with him. The two issues we are going to focus on basically are the advent of a series of recent incidents where air traffic controllers fell asleep during nightshifts and the increase in the number of reported operational errors by air traffic controllers. As you know, this year, there have been a number of incidents involving air traffic controllers sleeping on duty. And I'm deeply concerned, as I know the chairman of the full committee is, about these incidents. Some are clearly examples of unprofessional behavior on part of an individual controller. Their actions are totally unacceptable. Controllers do have a professional responsibility to come to work rested. Unfortunately, some have used those incidents to try and tarnish the reputation of a dedicated group of men and women who do work every day to ensure that our airspace is the safest in the world." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Maria Cantwell, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John D. Rockefeller, Bill Nelson, John Thune, Frank R. Lautenberg, Mark Warner, Amy Klobuchar, J. Randolph Babbitt, Calvin L. Scovel III, Paul M. Rinaldi, Gregory Belenky, and Tom Udall.
S. Hrg. 112-65; Senate Hearing 112-65
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