The air traffic controller at the center of the controversy surrounding a pair of flights that had to land at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport early Wednesday morning without ATC clearance from DCA told NTSB investigators that he had fallen asleep, the Safety Board reported this evening.
New York TRACON
For the upcoming thunderstorm season, the FAA is changing the severe weather avoidance plan (Swap) to cut down on gate holds and takeoff delays associated with route closures. During future Swap events, New York Tracon will staff a phone position to handle alternate routing requests from flight-planning service providers.
The Transportation Department’s plan to manage congestion at New York’s three area airports drew criticism from industry witnesses and members of Congress last week, and the head of the airline lobby once again used the forum to label business aviation a “significant contributor” to delays in the Northeast corridor.
The New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and the New York Tracon will be combined into one building under an FAA plan to integrate air traffic services in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
The FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association are at loggerheads over an FAA report describing staffing levels, scheduling abnormalities, excessive overtime, ineffective management and “threats, intimidation and inappropriate behavior” at the New York Tracon.
The 90-day performance tolerance standard assessment was prompted by a review at New York Tracon conducted last year that revealed some small operational-error violations on final approach that were detected by later examination of radar records. Controllers are not being assessed an operational error on final approach if aircraft separation is inadvertently reduced from 3 nm to 2.7 nm (excluding larger separation standards for heavies).