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Scientists: Controllers need naps on the job

WASHINGTON (AP) — The best solution to the problem of sleepy air traffic controllers is more sleeping on the job, scientists say. But that would be a radical change for the Federal Aviation Administra . . . ( More...

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preacher1 0
Nobody can deny that a "power nap" can help anybody but the idea of paid sleep time is just foreign to the American psyche that it will never fly. Personally, the 2 people, and removal of the sleep suspension is a better way to go, BUT, why not just darken down a bunch of these little podink places that have made their way back sinces the 80's and send those guys to the high den places where they are needed. They wouldn't like it but it woul relieve some of the OT and screwy shifts.
Michael Fuquay 0
I have utmost respect for controllers and feel that, with the amount of work they have to accomplish, they deserve whatever salary they want.
However, to issue a recommendation to nap at work could open a can of worms to so many other government-funded jobs. Bottom line - they need more controllers, with shorter shifts.
preacher1 0
Shorter shifts won't really help for the overall problem, I don't think, as they would still be alone and with the no distraction rule, that doesn't even allow a radio to break the monotony, I don't know that there would be that much of a difference even with a shorter shift. People are different but so many studies fail to take that into consideration. If there is enough activity to jutify having someone there, then they ought to be able to stay awake. If there's not enough to keep them awake, shut it down.
David Sims 0
My theory, if there isn't enough traffic to warrant having two controllers a shift, there isn't enough traffic to justify having a tower open. Just close it at night, like many other airport towers do late at night.
Dan Valint 0
A cat nap works wonders... just ask any body who has to work the night shift.
Roger Holt 0
I worked the midnight shift for years and never once needed a nap. It's the rotating shifts that need to go. Once you get a group of people accustomed to the shift by adjusting their sleep cycles, this problem will go away.
bill frostega 0
I hate that pilots, atc controllers, flight attendants, all cry about fatique, rest. What i don't understand that there is a group that actually keeps the airplanes flying. The TECHNICIANS. They work all kinds of hours, in all kinds of weather, dealing with crews, maintenance control, F.A.A., not to mention all the chemicals they handle. We all need our sleep, and it's all regulated by the F.A.A. Technicians should be able to have controlled naps to, after all they are the one keepnig those airplanes safe, no one else! thanks bill-747 TECH
preacher1 0
Lot's of good ideas here, but, as Roger said, the rotating shifts are a big problem, but the whole thing boils down to activity. If there's not enough to keep somebody awake, why have it open in the first place. There are uncontrolled airports all over the country and always will be. Pilots have procedures to go by when coming into or taking off from one.
Proctor Baker 0
Another situation, it can't be all that difficult to place a head (toilet)in the tower. I never been in one, but have a boat that has a perfect Vacumn flush head that could be plumbed down to ground level to a holding tank. 12 sf with sink.
skylloyd 0
I think that rotating shifts are real hard on the body, especially as we get older, I have worked them and it is really hard on the midnight shift not to doze off, when you get a break, I would bet people would really be shocked to find out that this happens even in the cockpit of the commercial liners.
the problem is not just rotating shifts. It's starting a shift 8 hours after leaving a shift. People with 9-5 jobs don't understand that. Imagine getting off at 5, and going back to work at 1am to be out by lunchtime and back in the next morning. It's hell on the body
Michael Fuquay 0
As everyone's sentiments reflect, we need more controllers. If the FAA has to cram the few controllers into so many shifts, without adequate rest, there's just not enough controllers to go around.
And of course the governement is going to cry the blues about not having enough money. Yet right, they have billions to spend on the military or overseas, when there's critical safety issues that need remedied in our country.
preacher1 0
Well, as I commented on another article, there are plenty of good arguments here, but both sides ar so oppsed to each other, it's doubtful they'll listen. LaHood's not on my watch is typical government cover your butt. Problem with a lot of shift work, whether weekend or nights, is that the folks want to saty up and do other stuff rather than sleep. Not all, just some. That takes discipline, and then the rotating shifts are no fun either. Problem is, there is some middle ground here somewhere if folks will seek it.


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