New regulations intended to keep air traffic controllers from dozing off on duty have been violated nearly 4,000 times, according to internal Federal Aviation Administration documents.
After a controller fell asleep last year in the tower at Reagan National Airport, it emerged that such lapses were commonplace at airports across the country, and the FAA said it would act to curb the problem.
But a memo to more than 400 frontline FAA managers this month said a five-month internal review earlier this year uncovered repeated violations of a requirement that controllers have at least nine hours off between shifts. More than half of the airport control towers were found to have violated the rule at least once. One facility broke the rule scores of times.