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View Diary: Air traffic controllers to get more rest (18 comments)

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  •  That rather depends on the airport (0+ / 0-)

    Many smaller (non-hub) airports are down by midnight local time.

    True, though long hours back-to-back is inviting problems.

    •  Most people don't know… (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      begone, craiger

      The majority of air traffic controllers work at Air Route Traffic Control Centers—more than all the towers and all the approach controls combined. Sure, traffic in the Centers is diminished on the mid shift, but I regularly worked a 0500 redeye inbound rush in Chicago that could kick one's ass.

      Granted that, due to the fact it was spread out over the whole west side of the facility and that other traffic usual during days or swings wasn't there, we combined all five sectors into one. A 25 airplane rush is a 25 airplane rush. Yeah, they're farther apart, but you still have to talk to them all, and separate them, and transition them from cruise to descent, and get them lined up for the next guy.

      Most mid shifters would just as soon have a D-side (the controller who sits next to the radar controller and helps) for that rush, because it doesn't take much to convert a handful to too damn many. For a lot of controllers 25 is too damn many no matter how spread out they are.

      The higher density approach controls (some of them regional and separate from the towers), while having reduced traffic don't necessarily have completely dead periods such as can be expected in the lesser trafficked towers.

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