Controller for Charleston, S.C. Area Dozes Off

Air traffic is typically light at that hour and no flights were affected.


The FAA does not keep statistics on how often its controllers fall asleep on the job and it is not required to report it when they do. The most recent such incident on record occurred in 1991 when an airline with about 100 passengers circled southern Spain for 40 minutes, while a controller snoozed thousands of feet below.

Tim Sieber, an aviation consultant with the Boyd Group in Colorado, said air-traffic controllers are the "most overworked" employees in the airline industry.

"I suspect that this probably happens more often than we think," Sieber said.



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