FAA fires a third controller for sleeping on duty
- Two controllers were fired last week for falling asleep on duty
- The FAA said Monday a Seattle controller had been fired
- That controller fell asleep on duty in January, then again earlier this month, the FAA said
Washington (CNN) -- An air traffic controller at Seattle's Boeing Field has been fired for twice falling asleep on duty, the Federal Aviation Administration said Monday.
Last week, the FAA fired two air traffic controllers, one of whom worked in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the other in Miami, also for sleeping on the job.
The firings follow a spate of incidents in which controllers in various cities were reported to be sleeping while on duty.
NTSB calls for fatigue-fighting strategies
The controllers were not identified. The FAA said in a statement that they have "a due process right to respond to these actions."
Let air traffic controllers take naps?
The Seattle controller fell asleep on the job on January 6 and then again on April 11, the FAA said.
In response to the reports of controllers falling asleep on duty, federal officials recently announced a series of new regulations aimed at preventing such incidents.
The life of an air traffic controller
Among other things, controllers now must have a minimum of nine hours off between shifts, instead of the current minimum of eight hours. In addition, controllers can no longer be put on an unscheduled midnight shift following a day off.
CNN's Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.
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The FAA plans to replace its current radar tracking system by 2020 with a more accurate GPS-based network.
It's no surprise that a half-dozen air traffic control specialists were recently caught sleeping on the job.
Air traffic controller fatigue has been attributed as a factor over the years in a number of accidents, including near misses and runway collisions.
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Former air traffic controllers say sleeping on the job is nothing new. Their schedules may shock you.
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Night shift workers say they struggle to stay awake no matter how many years they've done it.
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