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NTSB Endorses FAA Regulation on Controller Duty Time

NTSB Praises New FAA Policy on Controller Rest and Duty Time The NTSB has long highlighted the risks associated with fatigue among air traffic controllers, advocating for changes to ensure they receive adequate rest. Recently, NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy praised the new FAA regulation requiring air traffic controllers to have at least 10 hours off between shifts and 12 hours off before a midnight shift. This policy adjustment aims to enhance safety by ensuring controllers are well-rested and alert. This initiative comes after tragic incidents that underscored the severe implications of controller fatigue. A notable example is the Comair flight 5191 crash on August 27, 2006, in Lexington, Kentucky, where 49 lives were lost when a plane took off from the wrong runway. The controller on duty had returned to work just nine hours after completing his previous shift, having managed only a two-hour nap in the interim. The lack of rest was pointed out in the investigation as a significant factor contributing to the accident.

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