Tired US air traffic controllers admit making errors

US Air traffic controllers are suffering chronic fatigue which is endangering the US national system, according to a new study.

A secret report says that air traffic controllers are in many cases suffering from chronic fatigue

A secret report says that air traffic controllers are in many cases suffering from chronic fatigue Image by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / CC BY 2.0

The results of the report have not been released by Federation Aviation Administration (FAA) offices despite numerous efforts to force them to under the Freedom of Information Act.

Air traffic controllers have to constantly be on guard by using radar and other method to ensure airplanes' safety

Air traffic controllers have to constantly be on guard by using radar and other method to ensure airplanes' safety Image by Timitrius / CC BY 2.0

The FAA have kept the findings secret despite the best efforts of the Associated Press to bring the results into the public domain. However a draft report of the document from four years ago was obtained by the organisation which showed that many air traffic controllers were overworked.

Dobrolet Airlines goes out of business. Image by fsse8info / CC BY-SA 2.0

Air-traffic controller responsible for knowing where planes are as they take off or get set to land Image by fsse8info / CC BY-SA 2.0

It is understood that the recommendation in the examination by the National Transportation Safety Board was to revise schedules that controllers were working so that rest periods could allow them sufficient levels of “restorative sleep.”

The MailOnline reports that the study found one in five controllers had made ‘significant errors’ in the year before the probe with over half of the workers blaming ‘fatigue’ for their mistakes.

Three in every five controllers said that in the 12 months prior to being interviewed they averaged 5.8 hours of sleep during their working week.

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