Knoxville News Sentinel staff
Posted April 6, 2011 at 2:34 p.m.
KNOXVILLE — The Federal Aviation Administration is in the process of firing an air traffic control employee accused of intentionally sleeping while on the job at McGhee Tyson Airport.
In a statement this afternoon, the FAA said the controller, who it did not identify, was caught sleeping while on duty in the radar room of the airport on Feb. 19, leaving another controller to handle seven aircraft in a five-hour period. All the aircraft landed safely.
McGhee Tyson Airport is considered an “up-down facility,” meaning that the airport control tower and the radar room at the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) are on separate floors. Each is staffed by one controller during midnight shifts
Because the radar controller was unresponsive, the air traffic controller had to work the seven aircraft alone, according to the FAA.
More details as they develop online and in Thursday’s News Sentinel.