The head of the Federal Aviation Administration announced Saturday that he is banning scheduling practices that are most likely to cause air traffic controller fatigue.
Saturday’s announcement is the latest step that FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt has taken after numerous reports of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job.
The FAA suspended its seventh air traffic controller for reportedly sleeping on the job, the Washington Post reported on Saturday.
On Thursday, the FAA official in charge of air traffic control, Hank Krakowski, resigned.
Discussions are currently under way with the union representing air traffic controllers, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, an FAA news release said. The changes will take effect in 72 hours.
While the release did not mention what specific scheduling practices would be banned, Friday’s Washington Post reported that controllers frequently elect to do two evening shifts, then 8 hours of rest, then a day shift, then another short rest period, then two midnight shifts. This way, controllers are able to have a long weekend.