Back to Squawk list
  • 31

What it's like to be an air traffic controller

(CNN) -- Ron Connolly sometimes had to function on four hours of sleep or less when he worked as an air traffic controller. He remembers going to work exhausted and not getting enough rest between shifts, which sometimes ended and began on the same day. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Marcus Pradel 0
Opinion: enact the same required rest periods as pilots have?

We don't have to restrict annual working hours to 1200-1500 like pilots do, but the rules are pretty well structured. Managing schedule and compliance would be tricky.
Jeff Grana 0
I'm not sure I understand this "distribution of workload" thing they have. As a pilot, if you don't use your skills, you lose them. I'm no sociologist, but I'd imagine the same thing applies to a situation like controllers deal with when it's busy: If they are well-rested, well-fed and alert, the controllers who deal with busy times constantly are the ones who will be more up on their game. Swinging their schedules around like that, to me, is clearly the problem.
Matt Kladder 0
@ Jeff If a controller only works a certain shift aka the mid shift which at 99% of airports in america are way less busy than the day and evening shifts. Now if someone always works way less traffic than their coworkers their skills are going to be decreased like you said, if they don't use them they lose them. So now you need overtime on a day or evening shift and the only ones available are the ones that work the mid shifts... that controller is screwed because they are out of practice and they won't be able to keep up with the level of traffic that they aren't used to working. that is what is meant by "distribution of workload"
mark tufts 0
one thing that was not mentioned is the intense training i have seen it where it would be 4 hour of boredom and 60 seconds of hell and thats what takes its toll also working on 3 hours of sleep does cause alot of trouble on the human body
TTail 0
Require that controllers follow the same rules as truck drivers. 10 hours of off duty rest bewtween shifts, and NO MORE THAN 14 HOURS ON DUTY.
TTail 0
& they need not fire any of these ones that screwed up and got caught lately. let them be suspended, but get them on a regular work schedule. BID SHIFTS on a quarterly basis.
Jason Bischel 0
I second what Mark Tufts said.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.