FAA adding second air-traffic controller at 27 airports

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he was “outraged” by the incidents.

“This is absolutely unacceptable,” LaHood said in a statement. “The American public trusts us to run a safe system. Safety is our number one priority and I am committed to working 24/7 until these problems are corrected.”

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the FAA has suspended an air-traffic controller at Boeing Field/King County International Airport in Seattle, Wash., who was sleeping on a morning shift and two unresponsive controllers at Preston Smith International Airport in Lubbock, Texas.

Any future incidents will be handled similarly, Babbitt said Wednesday.

“Air-traffic controllers are responsible for making sure aircraft safely reach their destinations. We absolutely cannot and will not tolerate sleeping on the job. This type of unprofessional behavior does not meet our high safety standards,” he said.

The FAA did not specify which airports would get the additional controllers.