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Aviation Accidents: Federal Air Traffic Controller Negligence

Federal air traffic controllers are an integral part of air travel safety. They keep the skies running safely, smoothly and effectively. Management of air traffic is a job with a lot of responsibility, so employers, employees, managers and everyone involved in the industry needs to be working at top efficiency and safety at all times. Problems can arise for a number of reasons in the air traffic control room, and negligence can lead to catastrophic and fatal plane crashes. After any type of aviation accident, it’s essential to speak with a personal injury attorney who has proven case experience to help you get the ball rolling on your claim. Listed below are some common types of federal air traffic controller negligence.

Types of Federal Air Traffic Controller Negligence
  • Fatigued, sleepy, drowsy or tired air traffic controllers
  • Improper staffing and management of air traffic controllers
  • Failure to communicate a hazard
  • Failing to clear a runway for a pilot
  • Failure to properly manage air traffic
  • Failing to respond swiftly to a pilot
  • Failing to get proper takeoff clearance
  • Failing to properly respond to a developing emergency
  • Failing to communicate with pilots clearly
Fatigued Air Traffic Controllers

Sadly, a huge problem with air traffic controller negligence is fatigued, sleepy or drowsy employees. This is a tedious and high-stakes industry, and air traffic controllers need to be fully rested for every shift. We know that not getting enough sleep can have a similar impact on a person as alcohol. You wouldn’t want a drunk air traffic controller managing the sky, so why would we be okay with a drowsy one on the job? Adequate training, scheduling and management all play parts in ensuring air traffic controllers are well rested and ready for their shifts. Nobody should ever come into the office without enough rest from the previous night. It could be a recipe for disaster.

Improper Staffing and Management of Air Traffic Controllers

To go along the same lines as fatigued air traffic controllers, these rooms need to be adequately staffed and properly managed. Staffing shortages can lead to people taking more shifts than they can handle. An adequate work/life balance is essential for getting enough rest, and this job requires well-rested workers. Managers and employers that know about problems associated with being short staffed and improper office management need to take immediate measures to remedy them. This type of negligence can lead to fatal aviation accidents.

Failing to Communicate a Hazard and Properly Manage Air Traffic

A major part of the job of air traffic controllers is communicating potential hazards to pilots. This is part of managing air traffic. Making sure that pilots are aware of all potential hazards, whether they are conflicts with other airplanes or weather related, is a critical part of the job. Pilots are counting on air traffic controllers to be their eyes and ears for things that are out of their immediate visual range in the sky. With lots of planes coming and going, it’s essential for air traffic controllers to safely and properly manage air traffic.

Failure to Properly and Clearly Communicate With Pilots

It may seem obvious, but there can be negligence in the type of communication that happens between air traffic controllers and pilots. Air traffic controllers must always speak very clearly and refrain from using any regional or colloquial slang with their communications with pilots. This is especially true when dealing with pilots from other countries. There should be absolutely zero ambiguity in any given communication between an air traffic controller and a pilot. Communications should always be kept short, simple and to the point to avoid any potential negligence or confusion that could lead to a plane crash. Pilots shouldn’t have to decode long communications from babbling air traffic controllers.

Jackson Aviation Accident Lawyer

After any type of plane accident, no matter what factors were involved, it’s critical to speak with a personal injury attorney who has proven aviation accident case experience. Investigations can take months or longer, and you need an advocate on your side who will fight for your rights and help to get the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, lost wages and other damages associated with the plane crash. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an aviation accident caused by federal air traffic control negligence in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact the skilled and proven Personal Injury team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a free case consultation today.


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