Snoozing Miami Air Traffic Controller Fired

FAA fires sleepy controllers in Tennessee and Miami

By Todd Wright
|  Thursday, Apr 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:09 PM EDT
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Snoozing Miami Air Traffic Controller Fired

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An air traffic controller in Miami snoozed and has lost a job.

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An air traffic controller in Miami will have plenty of time to sleep now that the person has been fired for napping on the job.

The unnamed controlled was canned Wednesday, Federal Aviation Administration officials announced, although there was some confusion as to exactly why the person was terminated.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had said the controller was fired for asking a plane to change route to check on another that had not been responding to radio calls.

But the controller was actually was fired because of snoozing on the job, officials clarified, not because of incompetence.

A controller in Tennessee was also fired for making a bed in the control tower, officials said.

"We're not going to sit by and let that kind of behavior take place in control towers," LaHood said.

The Miami incident marked the seventh time this year -- and fifth time since March -- an American air traffic controller has been caught sleeping.

The controller was found sleeping about 5 a.m. on Saturday at a regional radar facility that handles high-altitude air traffic for portions of Florida, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

The Miami controller's slumber didn't impact any airplanes, officials said.

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