Thursday, April 12, 2007

If you gotta gotta go

An air traffic controller at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport was on duty for three hours already and had handled over 60 aircraft when he had to take a "bathroom break". He went to the restroom for about 18 minutes, which would have been okay, if he wasn't manning the towers alone...Since the only other person in the tower wasn't certified to handle takeoffs and landings, two airliners had to circle around in the air while they waited for him to return. A plane ferrying human lungs for transplant was also delayed.

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association says these incidents only prove that the system is stretched to its limits. Although the Federal Aviation Association and the commission agree on the details of the incident, the FAA says that staffing at the airport was sufficient and that the controller acted responsibly waiting to go to the bathroom when things were slower.

"There should never be one person in the tower, because it's not safe," said Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "It's just added proof that the system is stretched to its limits, and these are the type of things that are happening."

Plane circles while traffic controller takes a leak

Tags: FAA | Life | air-contoller takes potty break | Bathroom | newsgroup | Politics | Traffic | union

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