FAA Forms Panel to Review Air Traffic Control Fatigue

A series of near-miss incidents in 2023 occurred due to staffing shortages.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is forming a panel to address concerns surrounding air traffic controller fatigue after a series of near-miss aviation incidents in 2023. The panel will provide recommendations to the FAA in about six weeks as the organization faces an ongoing shortage of air traffic controllers, which has led to flight delays.

Former National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind will head the three-member panel that begins work this month to assess sleep needs and fatigue with regard to controller work requirements and scheduling.

New FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker has expressed his concerns about the impact of long-term, six-day work weeks on controller fatigue. He has also sought to expedite air traffic control hiring.

Despite meeting its goal of hiring 1,500 controllers in 2023, the FAA remains approximately 3,000 controllers short of staffing targets. The FAA has acknowledged that critical air traffic facilities, particularly the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control, are below recommended staffing levels, which poses a risk to air traffic operations.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For FAA Administrator Whitaker as he addresses the concerns surrounding air traffic controller shortages.
  • For members of the FAA panel as they assess and provide guidance on fatigue and the workload being expected of air traffic controllers.

Sources: Reuters, Federal Aviation Administration

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