These letters are in response to a Motion Monitor eNewsletter, in which we compared the merits of the $10 billion FAA budget to the $8.5 billion TSA budget — in light of the recent focus on napping flight controllers.
I once worked 36 hours straight when I was employed as a medic on an ambulance. When I finally hit the bunk after three trips to out-of-area hospitals, returning to my base in between, I was so spent it's a wonder we never killed anyone. One time, two ladies were moving a large door outside of my bunkroom, and it got away from them, crashing to the floor. I remember the loud noise, but was so exhausted that I didn't even flinch. I slept for just six hours, and then headed home at noon the next day — my longest 40-hour shift ever. If there are supposed to be scheduled rest periods, then they should be observed.
Technology not a panacea
The recent propaganda about sleeping controllers and the unrealistic policies about rest breaks seem to me like an instrument to advance an agenda for further automating air traffic control. While I am in favor of better infrastructure where appropriate, when the concept is presented alongside this recent news, it appears we are just throwing good money at an organization that poorly manages its resources.
Do you remember Michelle Obama's school lunch program? That came out a couple of weeks after a Science Foundation report stated that school lunches are the cause of child obesity — never mind lack of exercise. On the same token, I'll wager that there will be an air-traffic infrastructure initiative just in time for elections — never mind poor human resource management necessitating such an initiative.