It looks like guiding planes isn't keeping the air traffic controllers at New York's Westchester County Airport busy enough. Footage obtained by Fox 5 New York shows them sleeping, reading and texting in the tower.
"For many months the Westchester County Airport control tower has also doubled as a controllers' break room. And, sometimes it's hard to tell when the work ends and playtime, or even nap time, begins," said newscaster Dari Alexander:
A concerned, anonymous air traffic controller came forward to FOX with footage documenting other employees distracted on the job. The mix of photos shows approximately 10 controllers napping, reading or using their cell phones and laptops.
In a statement to Fox 5, the FAA said that because of a broken elevator and the eight-flight walk to the break room, employees have been allowed to use the back portion of the tower for their down time. They have also been allowed to temporarily use texting and email devices while on break. Still, the video seems to show controllers using electronics and sleeping on the job.
"It poses an extreme threat to public safety," said the whistle blower.
This isn't the first time controllers' awareness has been questioned. Last April, two controllers were fired -- one for a procedural violation and one for sleeping -- while another was sacked for watching a DVD on the job. Hank Krakowski, head of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization, resigned over the debacle. New FAA rules instated shortly after that debacleallowed controllers an extra hour of sleep.
In Europe there is discussion over an EU proposal to lengthen pilot workdays, leading some to claim their level of fatigue would equate to their being drunk.
Check out the report below:
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