Asleep at the Wheel

Air-Traffic Controllers Push for Naps

Last week, after a sixth air-traffic controller was discovered napping on duty, resulting in heavy congressional criticism, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association has gone on the offensive, launching a campaign seeking federal approval for its members to take naps during breaks. On Friday, the union urged the Federal Aviation Administration to embrace these “controlled napping” techniques recommended by a study group that would potentially last more than two hours, and allow controllers to sleep and then regain alertness. However, the Obama administration opposes permitting napping, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA chief Randy Babbitt both rejected the notion. “I don't expect to walk into a break room and see controllers napping, period,” said LaHood.