Air traffic controller staffing under scrutinyby Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
The Federal Aviation Administration is staffing air traffic controllers below authorized levels at nearly 40 major U.S. airports, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International, according to reports.
This news has come out from increased scrutiny after last Sunday's plane crash in Lexington, Kentucky - where a single overnight air traffic controller was working, even though FAA guidelines recommend staffing a minimum of two controllers at all times.
Airports at Duluth and Fargo, North Dakota, were also only operating with one overnight controller, each averaging about one flight per hour during those shifts.
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, has asked for an investigation into the FAA guidelines and compliance. Oberstar also warned that staffing air traffic controllers below recommended levels could affect flight safety. He spoke with MPR's Cathy Wurzer.