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In response to reported incidents of air traffic controllers
falling asleep on the job over the past few weeks, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration is giving controllers more rest between shifts.
Controllers now have a minimum of nine hours off between
shifts, up from eight. They no longer will be able to swap shifts unless they
have a minimum of nine hours off between the last shift they worked and the one
they want to begin.
Also, controllers will no longer be able to switch to an
unscheduled midnight shift following a day off.
And FAA managers will schedule their own shifts in a way to
ensure greater coverage in the early morning and late night hours, said FAA.
In addition to changes in scheduling practices, FAA will
launch a "fatigue education program" to teach controllers the risks
of fatigue and how to avoid it.
FAA will also commission an independent review of the air
traffic control training curriculum and qualifications to make sure new
controllers are properly prepared.
Source: Travel Weekly