FAA chief Randy Babbitt takes action over Reagan National fiasco

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said Friday that effective immediately, the FAA would institute an interim plan to prevent another situation at Reagan National Airport when a controller fell asleep leaving two airliners to land without assistance.
“While we review overnight staffing at selected airports around the country, I have directed all radar controllers to contact air traffic control towers at those airports to confirm that there is a controller prepared to handle the incoming flight.
“In addition, I have reminded all air traffic controllers that proper procedures dictate that they must offer pilots the option to divert to another airport if they do not make contact with the control tower.
“Finally, I have ordered a nationwide review of the air traffic control system to confirm the appropriate backup procedures and equipment are in place and in use. I am determined to make sure we do not repeat Wednesdays unacceptable event.”

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