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NATCA Weighs In On Increased Staffing At Some Control Towers

President Paul Rinaldi: "Safety Is Our Number One Priority"

NATCA president Paul Rinaldi praised the move made Thursday by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and DOT secretary Ray LaHood to increase staffing on overnight shifts at 27 airports around the country. The move came after the resignation of ATC Chief Hank Krakowski following a growing number of incidents in which controllers have been caught or admitted sleeping while on the job on overnight shifts in control towers.

"Safety is our number one priority," Rinaldi said in a statement. "We are fully committed to providing the safest and most professional services possible. The increased staffing implemented by Secretary LaHood and FAA Administrator Babbitt is a strong first step that will go a long way to ensure these isolated cases of fatigue never happen again.

"We take our responsibilities very seriously and believe staffing levels and fatigue are at the root of the problem. We will continue to work with the FAA and through our professional standards workgroup to provide the highest level of professionalism and safety."

FMI: www.natca.org

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